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Royal Estates in Anglo-Saxon Wessex

Land, politics and family strategies

Ryan Lavelle


This work, focusing on specific categories of royal estates, concentrates on the later Anglo-Saxon period in England (the mid-ninth century to the mid-eleventh AD). These centuries were a formative period in early medieval history, in which a state can be seen to have developed from a small kingdom to take control of lowland Britain, and, indeed, exert political influence over much of the rest of Britain. The area of this study consists of royal lands in the two shires of Hampshire and Dorset as set out in the folios of Domesday Book. Royal estates were lands used to support kings and their immediate retinue, and lands granted by kings to members of the royal family. Lands of royal agents are also examined in this work.