Books on Hertfordshire

John Norden's

Survey of Barley, Hertfordshire


Edited by J. C. Wilkerson

Cambridge Antiquarian Records Society, 1974

120 pages, 3 maps in body, plus foldout map.


From the Introduction

JOHN NORDEN'S Survey of the manors of Barley, coming midway between Domesday and the Enclosure, helps to complete a frame­work on which to build up the growth of an English farming community. The survey contains a wealth of information that few parishes are fortunate enough to possess, but as with the Domesday Survey and the Enclosure Award it deals with land tenure only: the rest of the picture must be filled in from other sources. A measure of what is missing can be gained from the fact that neither Norden nor the Enclosure Award mention families that had no land, and these probably comprised more than half the population. Church records can, however, fill in many of the gaps from mediaeval times and excavation has provided much information about earlier settlement.

The "township" of Barley is situated in an area of fertile land in the middle of a long narrow parish in the northeast comer of Hertfordshire. Its northern boundary with Cambridgeshire is formed by the Icknield Way, the land to the east is also in Cambridgeshire today although at one time this was in Essex. The land to the north of the village is chalk covered in places with a glacial drift of poor sandy gravel familiar to anyone travelling along the road from Baldock to Newmarket. The land to the south gets heavier, much of it being wet intractable clay.

Extract from the Transcription

WILLIAM GREENHILL by surrender of John Chapman sen., by a copy of 20 July 32 Eliz. holds 4a. in 6 pieces, one lying at Broadmere headland towards Holmer furlong, another acre at Waterden Hill next Henry Kefford's customary land on the north, !a. outside the near side of Waterden, and la. in two plots in the far side of Waterden, and a. in Debden Valley furlong in the Great Westfield (rent 2/0) ... 4  0  0

The same William holds a. formerly Anthony Morris' lying on Wayte hill (rent 0/3) ... 0  2  0

JOHN RAYNER after the death of Katherine Dale by a copy of 4 and 5 Oct. 41 Eliz., holds a tenement called Symonds with an orchard and croft and a close of arable and pasture in Churchfield between the demesne lands of Abbotsbury west and the lane from Shaftenhoe to Barley east (rent 3/0) ... 2  0  0

WILLIAM GREENHILL JUN. after Thomas Greenhill's death holds a tenement called Page lying at Smithend and 20a. with a croft for a term of 20 years and after the end of that term to his brother Thomas Greenhill and his heirs (rent 7/0) ...  21  0  0

The same William Greenhill by Oliver Payne's surrender holds a. butting on Little Waterden (rent 0/3) ... 0  2  0



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