New
New
Year 7

Norman changes to English land tenure

You can explain how Domesday Book can be used to study Norman changes to English land tenure.

New
New
Year 7

Norman changes to English land tenure

You can explain how Domesday Book can be used to study Norman changes to English land tenure.

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Lesson details

Key learning points

  1. The Normans changed land tenure in England.
  2. The new system of land tenure is often referred to as 'feudalism'.
  3. England was a hierarchical and tenurial society.
  4. Domesday Book is used by historians to study Norman changes to land tenure.

Common misconception

Pupils may think that power associated with land ownership was a Norman import to England.

Remind pupils that Anglo-Saxon England was a society largely based on land ownership and the power that this brought.

Keywords

  • Baron - A baron was a great lord or landholder in the kingdom.

  • Homage - A person who placed their hands between the hands of a social superior and acknowledged their vassal status was paying homage.

  • Vassal - A vassal is a person who holds land from another within feudalism.

  • Tenant - A person who occupies or looks after property owned by another is a tenant.

  • Tenure - The conditions by which they hold their land or property are described as tenure.

You may wish to include local examples from the Domesday book, which can be found and searched online.
Teacher tip

Licence

This content is © Oak National Academy Limited (2024), licensed on Open Government Licence version 3.0 except where otherwise stated. See Oak's terms & conditions (Collection 2).

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6 Questions

Q1.
Which one of the following is the best explanation for why William ordered castles to be built in England after 1066?
So English people would have somewhere safe to shelter from Viking attacks.
Correct answer: To help William stop rebellions against Norman rule.
To convince English people that God had chosen William as their king.
To force English people to leave a region where there had been a rebellion.
Q2.
Match these features of motte-and-bailey castles with their correct definitions.
Correct Answer:moat,a ditch, sometimes filled with water, surrounding the castle

a ditch, sometimes filled with water, surrounding the castle

Correct Answer:bailey,the castle courtyard; an open area inside the outer defences

the castle courtyard; an open area inside the outer defences

Correct Answer:watchtower,a tall structure within a castle used for keeping a lookout

a tall structure within a castle used for keeping a lookout

Correct Answer:motte,a mound of earth

a mound of earth

Q3.
Put these events in order, starting with the earliest.
1 - After his invasion fleet landed, William built a temporary castle at Pevensey.
2 - A castle began to be constructed in London just before William's coronation.
3 - In 1067, over 100 houses were destroyed to make room for Norwich castle.
4 - A motte-and-bailey castle was built in York following a major rebellion.
5 - In 1072 William ordered that a castle be built in Durham.
Q4.
Which one of these is not a way in which the Gesta Guillelmi seeks to justify or strengthen William’s claim to the throne?
It states that Edward promised William the throne.
It states that Harold promised to support William’s claim.
It states that Harold was a treacherous liar who broke his promises.
Correct answer: It states that William often had to fight wars against other Norman lords.
Q5.
Match the words with the correct definitions.
Correct Answer:tenant,someone who lives in accommodation owned by their landlord

someone who lives in accommodation owned by their landlord

Correct Answer:landholder,someone who has a legal right to land

someone who has a legal right to land

Correct Answer:property,something that somebody owns and can sell, e.g. a house

something that somebody owns and can sell, e.g. a house

Correct Answer:feudalism,a system where land was granted in return for services

a system where land was granted in return for services

Correct Answer:tenure,a legal right to own or use land for a set period of time

a legal right to own or use land for a set period of time

Q6.
Which two of the following statements would be useful in explaining the meaning of the word 'tenure'?
It's to do with counting in tens.
Correct answer: It's connected to land.
Correct answer: It's a legal term, about property.
It is related to food.

6 Questions

Q1.
Match the words with the correct definitions.
Correct Answer:tenant,a person who occupies property owned by another

a person who occupies property owned by another

Correct Answer:vassal,a person who holds land from another within feudalism

a person who holds land from another within feudalism

Correct Answer:baron,a great lord or landholder in the kingdom

a great lord or landholder in the kingdom

Correct Answer:paying homage,a ceremony of loyalty from a vassal to their lord

a ceremony of loyalty from a vassal to their lord

Q2.
William introduced a strict social order in England, based on a system of land ownership. Historians often call this the system.
Correct Answer: feudal, Feudal, feudalism, Feudalism
Q3.
Put these in order of powerfulness in the feudal system, starting with the least powerful.
1 - peasants
2 - knights
3 - barons
4 - king
Q4.
Who technically owned all the land in Norman England?
Peasants, because they worked the land.
Correct answer: The king, who then granted out land for everyone else to use.
The Church, because the land really belonged to God.
Knights, because they fought for the king in return for land.
Q5.
Which three of the following can historians work out from studying the Domesday Book?
How Anglo-Saxons felt about being ruled by Normans.
Correct answer: How much land William held personally as king.
Correct answer: How much land was taken from Anglo-Saxons and granted to Normans.
Correct answer: How the Norman Conquest changed how much land was worth.
Q6.
Match these sentences starters with their correct endings.
Correct Answer:Paying homage…,meant barons swore to be loyal to William.

meant barons swore to be loyal to William.

Correct Answer:The Domesday Book…,told William how much everyone’s land was worth.

told William how much everyone’s land was worth.

Correct Answer:Land grants…,were used to reward William’s loyal followers.

were used to reward William’s loyal followers.

Correct Answer:The feudal system…,made William the most powerful landholder.

made William the most powerful landholder.

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