William the Conqueror, the self proclaimed King of the Normans, having defeated the Saxon King Harold, commissioned this survey of his new lands.
Soham was described in Domesday Book as ‘Land of the King’, and was amongst his most important holdings in Cambridgeshire.
(Extract from the Domesday Book)
(1 hide = approx 120 acres, 1/2 hide =2 virgates, 1 virgate 30 acres)
Land of the King (Saham Maneriu Regis)
Soham is a manor of the King’s It answers for 9 1/2 hides
Land for 14 ploughs
16 villagers and 16 smallholders with 12 ploughs
In Lordship 2 ploughs
2 mills at 24s
From fisheries 3,500 eels
Meadow for 14 ploughs (14 plough teams)
Pasture for village livestock (cattle)
7 fishermen there, who pay to the King a presentation of fish three times a year, according to what they can. In total value, it pays £25 a year assayed and weighed, and £13 8s 4d at face value in white pence for corn, malt, honey, and other small customary dues. (White pence was the exact weight of coinage, and not its face value deficiencies caused by wear would have to be made up)
Before 1066 it paid £25 at face value, and three days’ revenue in corn, honey, malt, and everything else.
King Edward always had this manor in Lordship
In Soham King William has 6 hides and 40 acres, in his writ