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A Hundred Years on a Medieval Manor by Susannah Horne

Dorking Museum

A Hundred Years on a Medieval Manor by Susannah Horne


"A Hundred Years on a Medieval Manor explores the development of the town and manor of Dorking between the 1280s and 1380s, providing a snapshot of the people who lived and worked there during these years.

The manor was a large one, forming part of the vast landholding of the Earls of Surrey.  Heavily timbered and close to London, opportunities abounded for the reeve and for the tenants.  This book explores how the tenants made their living, seemingly under the thumb of the Earls but in fact benefitting from such long-distance landlords, and how the constraints of villeinage began to crumble.  It also shows how the property market flourished and how the manor court developed to reflect the concerns of those who used it.  We follow the same families as they weather the deteriorating climate of the first half of the 14thC, the Black Death and the subsequent political unrest.  Gradually, the emphasis shifts from the land to the urban centre, where the twice-weekly market and the church provided alternative foci to the manor court.

None of the Dorking manorial records have been published, so the information presented here is new.  The book is illustrated throughout with line-drawings based on contemporary bas-de-page illuminations."

Published in 2022.

The book is priced at £9.00

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