By Charles Cooper
During this superbly crafted heritage, Charles Cooper explores the advance of the industry city Kingston-near-Lewes, from the time of the Norman conquest to the top of the 19th century, interpreting how its medieval earlier formed the borders and bounds of its current.
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Additional info for A Village in Sussex: The History of Kingston-Near-Lewes
Certainly, the great barn and close adjoining the croft belonged to Alfreye’s. These too are still standing and in use. At the eastern end of the street there were Swanborough lands in enclosures that came to be held by the Ade family. At the head of the street across the Ashcombe–Well Green way, there was Addam’s house and barn, which later belonged to Stephen Towner whose eighteenth-century lands were discussed earlier on, and whose house still stands there. Iford and Houndean lands in the street were small in proportion to their holdings in the Kingston arable.
Even after this procedure had become largely symbolic and the ‘fines’ themselves merely relics of the ancient feudal incidents on the lands, the civil courts of England continued to use the manorial records as evidence of title to land. So the procedure and the manor courts remained crucial in law. There are two prevalent generalizations about the medieval manors historians nowadays regard with scepticism; the manorial system in Kingston confirms their doubts in its own small way. The first generalization is that manors conformed more or less to a type – consisting of demesne lands, copyhold and freehold and embracing the standard social structure of lord, freemen, villeins and cottagers in its entirety.
These are older furlongs, and it would not have been possible to take an ox-team from them to the newer lands above them to the north – although once the slope is surmounted, the slope of the land becomes much more gentle, especially in the big furlong marked C on the map. It is reasonable to suppose from the geography of the lands that the steep slope might originally have formed the northward boundary of this part of Mill Laine and that the ploughmen of 22 A VILLAGE IN SUSSEX Kingston had been reluctant to use the area to the north until there was strong commercial or other pressure for them to do so.