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meadow

Latin, pratum.

Meadow was an indispensable resource for farming communities. Later sources show that it could be more valuable than the arable land itself; and although this may be due to the increasing shortage of land in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries as population expanded, there can be little doubt that it was a prime asset in earlier centuries too. This is reflected by the systematic manner in which it is recorded in Domesday Book. Only in Shropshire is no meadow recorded, one of several peculiarities of the Shropshire folios which deserve investigation.

Uniquely,
circuit 3 records meadow in terms of the number of plough teams it could support, allowing an approximate calculation of its adequacy. Elsewhere, meadow was usually recorded in acres. Its distribution shows substantial variations from county to county, not all of them explicable. This must give rise to the suspicion that not all meadow was recorded or that the area of the customary acre varied significantly from area to area.

For more detail, see H.C. Darby, Domesday England (1977).

See also
appurtenances.
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