defence obligations

Latin, wara.

Wara refers to the public obligations laid upon land: payment of geld, performance of military service, and other common burdens.

The term occurs just eight times in Great Domesday, all but one of them in circuit three, in the counties of Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire. The one exception occurs in south Lincolnshire. Whether this is another example of the whims of the commissioners or their local scribes or due to some local currency of the term is unclear.

For more detail, see Paul Vinogradoff, English society in the eleventh century: essays in English medieval history (1908); and Rosamond Faith, The English peasantry and the growth of lordship (1997).