The Domesday Book of 1086
Bratton Clovelly is an ancient place that features in William the Conqueror’s great survey of 1086, Domesday Book. There’s an excellent write-up on this remarkable record at The National Archives website. There is also a very helpful description of the Domesday survey in the Victoria County History of Devonshire, including what the many measures signified in Devon at that time.
Several places in the Bratton Clovelly parish feature in Domesday which you can see on the map in our Maps section. The following translation comes from the Alecto Historical Editions of Domesday Book: A Complete Translation. ‘TRE’ means ‘in the time of King Edward’ before William’s Conquest of 1066. Guscott was the detached part of the Bratton Clovelly parish until the boundary change of 1885 which assigned it to Broadwoodwidger. Boasley is a farm that can still be found in modern Bratton Clovelly.
Baldwin himself holds BRATTON CLOVELLY. Beorhtric held it TRE, and it paid geld for 1 virgate of land. There is land for 15 ploughs. In demesne are 3 ploughs, and 12 slaves; and 12 villans with 6 ploughs. There are 20 acres of meadow, and 200 acres of pasture and 5 acres of woodland. Formerly £9; now it is worth £7.
There were 2 thegns in this manor TRE holding half a virgate of land freely and they could go to whichever lord they would. Formerly 60s; now it is worth 30s.
Colwin holds GUSCOTT [in Bratton Clovelly] from Baldwin. Beorhtric held it TRE, and it paid geld for 1 virgate of land. There is land for 4 ploughs. In demesne is 1 plough, and 3 slaves; and 6 villans and 4 bordars with 2 ploughs. [There is] woodland 3 furlongs long and 1 furlong broad. Formerly 20s; now it is worth 25s.
Rolf holds BOASLEY from Baldwin. Beorhtric held it TRE, and it paid geld for 1 virgate of land. There is land for 8 ploughs. In demesne are 1-1/2 ploughs; and 7 slaves with 1 plough. There are 60 acres of meadow, and 60 acres of pasture and 2 acres of scrubland. Formerly 30s; now it is worth 40s.