The Boldon Buke

Durham’s own Domesday Book – that great survey of 1183 – is the “Boldon Buke” and the appropriate entry for Herrington carries us back to a community closely tied to the cultivation of the soil and concerned with cattle and crops.

The biggest tenant of the manor appears to have been Hugh de Hermas. He paid 20 Shillings worth for corn, provided cows milk, eight chalders measure of meal, malt and oats to the Lord of the Manor. He also had manual service to render – harrow and plough four acres of the lord’s land near Newbottle, providing extra men from his own land to work in Autumn which was always the busy time of a farmer’s year, the lord thus making sure that his harvesting had been done first.

There is mention of Hugh’s workmen providing and feeding a horse and a dog and a man to watch and ward. There was a mill at both East and West Herrington so the villagers paid in kind to the Lord for the privilege of grinding their corn. Men were also obliged to attend the great chase with two greyhounds.