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Holy Cross Church, Ashton Keynes, Wiltshire


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The wording on the photograph of the Church History is rather unclear, this is our interpretation of it but it might not be accurate.


Ashton Keynes



Ashton Keynes.  Various spellings:  Aesctun, Essitone, Eston … Ashton is a common name; it means 'the tun (or farm) where the ash tree grows'.
King Alfred left 'Aesctun' to his daughter Aethelgeofu abbess of Shaftsbury in A.D. 899.  It passed to the Church of S. Mary Cranborne, and thence to the Abbey of Tewkesbury.  n 1256, or there abouts, certain William de Koynes seems to have held the manors of Ashton, Pool, and Somerford Keynes.  Kaynes, or Keynes, comes from Cahagnes in Normandy.  The relevant extract from Domesday Book for Ashton Keynes, (when it was a manor of S. Mary’s, Cranborne) is given below.

Domesday Book
Ecclesiae Sanctae Maria Creneburnensis tenet Essitone et tenuit T.R.E. et pro 20 hidis geldavit.  Terra est 16 carucatae.  De hac terra sunt in dominio 10 hidae. et lbi 2 carucatae et 5 servi lbi 20 villani et 12 bordaru, et 4 coscez cum 13 carucatis.  Lbi molinus reddit 5 solidas.  Et 200 acrae prati.  Pastura una leuca longa et dimidium leuce latum.  Silva habet tantundem.  Valvit et valet 15 libra.

Translation:
The Church of S. Mary Cranborne holds Ashton and also held it T.R.E. (1) and it is assessed at 20 hides   (2).  Here are 16 Ploughlands   (3).  Ten of these hides are in demesne   (4) where 2 ploughlands are and 5 serfs   (5). Twenty villains   (6) 12 bordars   (7) and 4 cottars   (8) occupy 13 ploughlands.  The mill pays 5 shillings.  There are 200 acres of pasture (meadow).  The pasture is a mile and a half long and 3 quarters of a mile broadand there is the same quantity of wood.  It was and is worth 15 pounds.

Notes:
(1)   T.R.E. means 'in the time of King Edward the Confessor'.
(2)   Hide.  An area ofland for assessment of dues.  Value varies considerably.
(3)   Ploughlands.  As much as could be ploughed in one year by a team of 8 oxen.
(4)   Demesne.  The portion of the manor cultivated exclusively for the 'Lord' or owner of the manor:  the home farm.
(5)   Serfs.  Unfree labourers permanently attached to the demesne:  slaves.
(6)   Villeins.  Tenants of the manor who worked regularly two or three days a week in return for their holdings.  There were additional duties also.  They held their land 'by fork and flail'.
(7) and (8)   Bordars.  Cottars.  Held cottage and small enclosure, often on the manor, in return for specified menial duties.




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