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YorkThe Making of a City 1068-1350$

Sarah Rees Jones

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780198201946

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198201946.001.0001

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Landscapes of Lordship at the time of the Conquest: The Minster, the King, and the Earl

Landscapes of Lordship at the time of the Conquest: The Minster, the King, and the Earl

(p.23) 2 Landscapes of Lordship at the time of the Conquest: The Minster, the King, and the Earl

Sarah Rees Jones

Oxford University Press

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter reconstructs the fees of the king, the archbishop, and the earl of Northumbria, between which the city of York was divided in 1066. It uses the evidence of Domesday Book, of charters recording the payment of husgabel rents, and some early surveys of the estates of York Minster. The chapter assesses how these fees were mapped onto the urban landscape area, with the areas that were more urbanized being assigned to the king’s fee, and speculates on the reasons for and chronology of this division. The chapter also assesses the presence of the earls of Northumbria in the city, noticing aspects of their investment in the urban landscape that have previously been neglected. Comparisons are drawn with a number of other county towns and London.

Keywords:   Domesday, burgages, urban lords, pre-Conquest government, cathedral cities, county cities


This chapter will reconstruct the pattern of lordships in eleventh-century York in order to illuminate the city’s development before the Norman Conquest. Although the Domesday inquest of 1086 provides unique evidence for the city at the end of the eleventh century, it distorts our view of its history. Domesday focused primarily on the rights of the king and therefore obscured the importance of other lords, particularly the archbishops of York and the earls of Northumbria. This chapter will bring to bear a wider range of documentary evidence, much of it from charters and other estate records of the twelfth and even thirteenth centuries, which can with care be used to reconstruct the extent of the estates of the Minster and the earl in York as they were by the later eleventh century. Archaeological excavation can, on the whole, tell us very little about lordship, but it has dramatically enhanced our understanding of the physical and economic development of parts of the city. Bringing the two types of evidence together permits us to draw some inferences about how these estates might have originated and how they functioned within the city as a whole.

The recovery of patterns of lordship is critical to understanding York’s development and growth. The period between the ninth and thirteenth centuries was one of rapid urban growth across north-western Europe, and one in which lords were particularly influential in determining the layout and development of both old and new towns. New commercial and administrative settlements were laid out on formal street plans constructed both within the circuit of older towns and on new sites. The refashioning of the urban settlements within the older circuits of Roman walls at Winchester and London during the ninth century was instrumental to the growth of royal authority in Wessex,1 while the development of new towns in the midlands, including Coventry, Gloucester, and Worcester, was similarly fostered by powerful regional ecclesiastical and lay lords.2 From such case studies, Robert Bartlett and Keith Lilley have argued that the spread and growth of towns in (p.24) Europe was fundamental to the development of new forms of secular lordship, while James Campbell has associated the growing formality of urban organization in England in the tenth century with the development of royal government and the establishment of a system of county administration.3

Robert Moore has even suggested that the urban revolution of the eleventh to thirteenth centuries was the decisive moment in the creation of a distinctively European culture, as towns not only grew in number and in size, but as a new social order, including a distinct class of townsmen or merchants, was created.4 This emerging order ultimately found its expression in the development of self-governing communes, which at first complemented and ultimately replaced the courts of urban lords. The rapid development of York as a town between the tenth and the thirteenth centuries needs to be set in this wider context. The first part of the story is the competition for influence between greater lords for authority within and over the city, but the second stage was the development of cultures and practices of government among their urban tenants. This chapter establishes the framework for the first part of that story.

The description of  York in the Domesday Book is the best known of the earliest surviving accounts of the city. To a modern reader its language is difficult to understand, yet it has been used many times to discuss the topographical and constitutional history of  York just before and just after the Norman Conquest, to assess the size of the city’s population and the prosperity of its economy, to review its ecclesiastical development and the military and political impact of the Conquest.5 It is the evidence of Domesday Book above all that supports the impression that York was one of the leading cities of England by the later eleventh century, second only to London in terms of its size and prosperity and its political and ecclesiastical importance.6 Domesday’s description of York begins as follows:

In the city of York in the time of King Edward there were six shires apart from the shire of the archbishop. One of these lies waste in the castles. In five shires there were 1417 inhabited properties (mansiones hospitatae). The archbishop still has the third part of one of these shires. In these nobody else used to have any custom unless as a burgess, except Merlesveinn in one house which is within the castle and except for the canons wherever they lived and except the four judges to whom the king gave this gift by his own writ and for as long as they lived.

(p.25) The Archbishop, however, had full custom in his own shire. Of all these aforementioned properties there are now inhabited in the King’s hand paying custom 400 less 9 both large and small, and 400 uninhabited of which the better ones pay more than one penny and the others less; and 540 properties so empty that they pay nothing at all and the Frenchmen hold 145 properties.

In the shire of the Archbishop in the time of King Edward there were two hundred inhabited properties less eleven. Now there are one hundred inhabited both large and small, besides the court of the Archbishop and the houses of the canons. In this shire the Archbishop has as much as the king has in his own shires.7

Domesday thus provides one of the starting points for a reassessment of the relative influence of the king, the archbishop, and other landowners in the development of the city. However, it does not provide us with a complete survey of landownership in York in 1086. The text provides us with much more detail about the king’s fee than that of the archbishop and it barely mentions the city estate of the earl of Northumbria because that was in the process of being transferred to the newly founded Benedictine abbey of St Mary in Bootham. Earlier interpretations of the location of the archbishop’s shire in York are both contradictory and incomplete. A. G. Dickens and John Harvey’s work on the location of the archbishop’s shire lacked access to the mass of later title deeds that make it possible to locate the properties owing customary dues to the archbishop with some precision. Neither did they attempt a full reconstruction of the history of the Minster’s estates, which would have enabled them to distinguish clearly between those properties belonging to the archbishop at the time of the Domesday Inquest and those acquired by the dean and chapter of York Minster as a result of later endowments.8 The research on which this reconstruction is based was first presented in my doctoral thesis in 1987.9 Christopher Norton, David Rollason, and David Palliser have since used the evidence that I presented there to discuss aspects of the history and influence of the Minster in the early development of the city.10 The interpretation offered below differs from theirs in some details and develops some of the arguments further. However no study has yet considered the location of the royal shires in York, while the city estates belonging to other secular elites, whether of Anglo-Scandinavian thegns in 1066 or of the new Norman aristocracy, have similarly been overlooked.

(p.26) The Territorial Extent of the Estates of the Archbishop, the Minster and the King

On the eve of the Norman Conquest, no landlord in York rivalled the Minster. Its estates were in the process of being divided into two estates, one administered by the archbishop and the other by the newly established chapter of secular canons of the metropolitan church of St Peter. A third estate, closely associated with those two, belonged to the collegiate church of Christ Church in Micklegate. Their combined estates nearly encircled the city and included historically significant areas at its very heart. The authority of the archbishop and his Minster church therefore extended over a much greater area of the city, including its suburbs, than did that of the king.

Yet the description of the extent of the estates of the archbishop in York in the Domesday Book makes them appear smaller than those of the crown. The Domesday Book describes the archbishop as owning one of seven ‘shires’ in the city in which there had been 189 developed messuages before the Conquest, compared with 1,418 developed messuages in five shires belonging mainly to the crown. In a second shire the archbishop took the third part of all custom. The contradiction between this description in the Domesday Book and what we can reconstruct of patterns of lordship from the evidence of other early surveys and charters can only be explained if we assume that the compilers of Domesday were principally interested in describing the king’s interest in the city and so concentrated on the defended settlement in the city centre. This area was smaller than the walled city of the thirteenth century and later middle ages. It excluded most if not all of the settlement along Walmgate, as well as a small area of the walled city on the west bank of the Ouse later known as the ‘Old Baile’. Within this compact central defended core the combined holdings of the Minster, the archbishop, and Christ Church by 1086 were concentrated in particular areas within the former Roman garrison and colonia.11 They were largely confined to the area of the present Minster Close, some property in the neighbouring street of Goodramgate, together with a second nucleus centred on the precincts of Christ Church in Micklegate. Nevertheless, the relatively small extent of the estates of the Minster and the archbishop in the city centre by 1086 should not blind us to the significance of the fact that the archbishops owned a much larger area of the villages in what we might call ‘greater York’ (including villages surrounding the defended urban core) than did the crown. This larger extent to the archbishop’s holdings is our first indication of the supreme importance of the church in the early development of the city.

(p.27) Sources

The description of  York in the Domesday Book, although incomplete, is one of the earliest written sources from which we can reconstruct the extent of the estates of the Minster in the city. There are, for example, no collections of pre-Conquest charters describing the Minster’s possessions in York comparable to those surviving for episcopal estates in Canterbury, Winchester, or Worcester.12 Apart from Domesday, our earliest sources are two surveys of the rights and privileges of the church in the city that were made between c.1070 and 1106. The earlier is a survey into the privileges and legal titles of Archbishop Thomas I, within and without the city of York, which was made sometime between 1070 and 1086, although it only survives in a copy made in the early fourteenth century.13 The second survey was ostensibly produced in 1106, as the result of an inquest into alleged infringements of the privileges of the church of St Peter and the archbishop by the sheriff of Yorkshire, although it too only survives in a later copy and some aspects of its description of jurisdictional arrangements probably reflect later twelfth-century conditions.14 Like the Domesday Book itself, both surveys were conducted by inquest and were apparently compiled in the aftermath of Norman Conquest and colonization. All three surveys are descriptions not just of the geographical extent of the church’s estate in York, but also of the Minster’s claims to exercise various kinds of jurisdiction.15

(p.28) The fact that the earlier of these surveys, like the entry for the city in Domesday Book, refers to the lordship of the archbishop and that only the survey of 1106 discusses the rights of the canons of St Peter as a separate entity is significant. Originally the possessions of the Minster were held in common under the management of the archbishops, and the division between the jurisdiction of the archbishop and the dean and chapter was only gradually developed from the mid eleventh century.16 An initial division of the estate between properties assigned to supporting the archbishop (the episcopal mensa) and those assigned to supporting the Minster canons (the capitular mensa) might have been evident as early as 1030, and further division took place after 1070 when provision began to be made for the endowment of separate estates for individual canons (known as prebends) from both mensae.17 The endowment of prebends involved yet more alienation of land from the archbishop to the chapter, which was clearly in progress by the time of the Domesday survey and was largely completed by 1114.18 The three early surveys thus each describe the extent of the respective lordships of the archbishop and the chapter in slightly different ways as the balance of lands and powers shifted between them.

A more precise indication of the area of both the lordship of the archbishop and that of the king can be established through the description and location of properties paying husgabel rents as recorded in title deeds. ‘Husgabel’ was the local term for the burgage rent which, in many boroughs, was a principal element in defining lords’ rights to other customs, and so the defined the limits of ‘sokes’ or private jurisdictions.19 For example, in c.1200 Robert de Lanum sold land, which Archbishop Roger had given him, to Arundellus for 10 marks of silver. The land was described as lying between the land once of Hugh Pusath and the cemetery of St Peter, and owed 2d. a year in husgabel to the archbishop.20 Similarly, in c.1251 × 68, Richard Supe’ quitclaimed his rights to land with buildings in Petergate which he held of St Leonard’s for 4s. per annum, and husgabel to the king.21 References to (p.29) the payment of husgabel rents in title deeds are contributed by other sources. A survey of the estates of the dean and chapter made in 1276 was designed in part to record which properties within the then liberty of St Peter (belonging to the dean and chapter) paid husgabel and geld to the king and which did not.22 For example, the south side of Petergate between Stonegate and Grapelane was described as follows: ‘all that land between the shop of John the apothecary in Petergate and the hall which is called Mulberi is of the prebend of Givendale. In this land there are five tofts, and they pay husgabel (gevelgeld ) to the bailiffs of York. The jurors do not know how they came to the liberty of St Peter because of the lapse of time.’23 Finally, an incomplete account survives of husgabel rents paid predominantly to the crown in c.1284.24

Using these three main sources, the following reconstruction of the fees of the archbishop, the king, and the earl starts with the central defended areas of the city and then moves on to the peripheral areas of settlement which had developed around the area of the former Roman town by the later eleventh century.

The Area of the Roman Fortress (Maps 4 and 5)

At the centre of the former Roman fortress, underlying the post-Conquest Minster and its adjacent cemetery or yard, lay the site of the principia with side streets on either side and the via principia to the front, which extended between the eastern and western gates of the fortress: the porta sinistra and the porta dextra. This area was central to the Minster’s lordship by the eleventh century and it was here that the earliest division between the estates (or mensae) of the archbishop and the canons was made.25 The area of the Minster Close26 is not mentioned explicitly in the surveys of archiepiscopal lordship made in c.1070–88 and 1106,27 despite the fact (p.30) that it contained the archbishop’s palace.28 However, later charter evidence suggests that much of the area of the Minster Close was assigned to the capitular mensa either before Archbishop Thomas’s appointment in 1070 or in the first years of his episcopacy, since the Close was largely occupied by the houses of the five senior officials of the chapter and by the houses of some of the first prebends established by Archbishop Thomas, probably before 1086.29 The houses of the senior officials occupied sites to the north, west, and south of the new Norman Minster.30 The houses of seven of the earliest prebends occupied sites to the immediate south-east, east, and north of the Norman Minster,31 while other houses in the Close, especially to the south-west of the Minster in Petergate, were occupied by servants of the archbishop and senior officials of the diocese by c.1200.32 A large part of the Close thus formed the kernel of the York estate assigned to the chapter, as distinct from the archbishop. It is separately referred to in Domesday as ‘the houses of the canons who enjoyed full custom wherever they lived’, anticipating the position claimed by the later twelfth century, when the rights of the canons were treated entirely separately from those of the archbishop.33 By 1276 the houses of the canons were said to belong to the fee and liberty of St Peter from a time beyond memory: they did not pay geld, neither did tenants in the Minster Close pay husgabel to the crown.34 This exemption of the Close from geld and husgabel was (p.31) never challenged, unlike other areas of the Minster’s estates outside the Close in the city centre.35

The distribution of the houses of the canons near the Minster sheds light on the topography of what would later become known as the Minster Close, for they were clearly strongly influenced by the underlying Roman street plan. At the centre of the Close was a street that no longer exists, which followed the same alignment as the Roman street running parallel to the south-east side of the principia, which is here referred to as the ‘Street of the Canons’. The side street parallel to the north-west of the principia was revealed in excavations (Map 4).36 The ‘Street of the Canons’ was not excavated. Nevertheless its strong influence on the medieval plan is very evident. Its presence explains the slight but significant deviations of the medieval street pattern from the underlying Roman plan. The line of the medieval street of Petergate, for example, extends between the sites of the two former Roman gates (the portae sinistra and dextra).37 Petergate thus almost follows the line of the via principalis, except for a pronounced deviation to the north at 52 Low Petergate, which is adjacent to the junction of the Roman road underlying the ‘Street of the Canons’ with the via principalis. At this junction, medieval tenements were laid out fronting onto the ‘Street of the Canons’ within the Close, and not onto Petergate (Map 6).38 The importance of early activity at the site of this junction is further emphasized by the alignment of other medieval streets and property boundaries in the area. Stonegate also deviates away from the line of the underlying Roman via praetoria towards this junction, as does the side street now known as Grape Lane, which led to the church of St Benedict and originally continued on to Little Stonegate.39 The ‘Street of the Canons’ was thus a prominent feature of the Close at the time of the construction of the first Norman Minster and presumably before. The precinct of the pre-Conquest Minster, associated chapels, and cemetery lay to its west.40 The exist (p.32) ence of this street appears to have been sufficiently important to curtail the space available for the new Norman Minster, which was designed to avoid crossing the path of this pre-existing road.41

Further indications of the continuing influence and reuse of Roman sites are apparent elsewhere in the Close. The sites of the two southern wings of the principia building were occupied by the church of St Michael-le-Belfrey and the medieval deanery.42 To the north-west of the former principia, the documentary evidence records three medieval tenements occupied by senior officials of the chapter and servants of the archbishop, which extended from Petergate back towards and beneath the site of the west end of the present Minster (Map 4).43 Two are explicitly recorded as lying within the archbishop’s fee and paying husgabel to him. In 1202 the chapter arranged for buildings standing on the rear portions of these properties to be demolished because of the threat of fire they posed to the Minster. The properties were further reduced in size when the west end was enlarged after 1290. The original dimensions of these tenements are not recorded, but archaeological evidence suggests that the street parallel to the west side of the principia remained in use at least until the construction of the Norman Minster after 1070, and also that some elements of the centurions’ quarters within the three barrack buildings fronting onto the via principalis to its west were rebuilt and occupied from the sixth to eleventh centuries.44 It therefore seems very probable that the three medieval tenements to the west of St Michael-le-Belfrey, which were demolished in 1202 and 1290, had evolved from, and preserved the building line of, elements of these three Roman barracks (Map 4). This hypothesis is corroborated by the extent of medieval tenements further to the west in High Petergate, which lay beyond the site chosen for the new Norman Minster, and which were not demolished as the Minster was built and enlarged in the post-Conquest period. These tenements extended in length from Petergate back to the precinct of the archbishops’ palace, coinciding with the presumed length of former Roman barrack blocks on the same site, and were also used as residences for senior canons of the Minster.45 All the evidence suggests therefore that the early topography of the (p.33) Minster Close was closely modelled upon the surviving plan of the Roman fortress and its buildings. The first Norman Minster was built on a liturgically correct axis which totally disregarded this plan, but nevertheless it seems to have been carefully laid out so as not to overlie either those tenements on the site of former centurions’ quarters fronting onto the via principalis to the west, or those along the Roman street following the south side of the principia building to the east. These reused features of the Roman town plan were only eroded as the Minster was steadily rebuilt and enlarged during the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries.

The lordship of the archbishop within the area of the former Roman fortress was not confined to the Minster Close, but also included properties to the east of the Close in the streets of Goodramgate and Aldwark, which were described in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries as either belonging to the fee or barony of the archbishop or as paying husgabel to him.46 The area corresponded with a portion of the parish of Holy Trinity in Goodramgate (the advowson of which the archbishop shared with Durham Priory by 1162),47 and a portion of the parish of St Helen-on-the-Walls in Aldwark (Map 5).48 In Aldwark the eastern boundary of the area belonging to the archbishops’ fee coincided with the site of the south-east wall of the Roman fortress.49 In 1279 the archbishop still claimed the right to maintain a gallows, to administer the assize of bread and ale, and to hold a court for certain tenants living in this Goodramgate area.50

In this north-eastern quarter of the fortress, the influence of the Roman plan is less clearly present in the medieval street plan. The tenements fronting onto the ‘Street of the Canons’ extended eastwards, disregarding the presumed plan of Roman buildings in the area, to abut on the rear of tenements fronting onto Goodramgate, which itself substantially deviated from the north-west/south-east orientation of the Roman street plan at this point.51 However, the archbishop’s (p.34) lordship did not include the whole street of Goodramgate. The southern portion of the street belonged to the lordship of the king, forming a small enclave within the north-eastern quadrant of the fortress, immediately inside the site of the porta principalis sinistra.52 This included a small area of land owned by Durham Priory, which exercised joint lordship over the church of Holy Trinity Goodramgate (Map 5).53 This may be the site that Simeon of Durham recorded as being given to St Cuthbert of Durham in 685 by King Egfrith and Archbishop Theodore.54 It is therefore possible that the divergent street plan in this part of Goodramgate is the consequence of this different lordship. It is significant that, within Monk Bar, the section of northern Goodramgate that lay within the archbishop’s shire retains an alignment truer to the orientation of the Roman fortress. It is possible that this was determined by the location of an early urban manor, occupying two cells of the Roman fortress on either side of the via decumana, including much of the later parish of St John in Ogleforth.55

No evidence of archiepiscopal lordship has been found within the southern half of the Roman fortress, either in Stonegate or on the south-west side of Petergate (Map 5). The central block of land opposite the Minster Close, and opposite the (p.35) site of the principia, bounded by the streets of Petergate, Grape Lane, Little Stonegate, and Stonegate was known as ‘Petrebordland’ by 1276, indicating a strong association with the Minster.56 Yet there is clear evidence that the majority of these properties paid husgabel to the king, and the few that were exempt from paying geld or husgabel probably owed their exemption to arrangements made in the twelfth century.57 There is no indication of ownership by the archbishop. Similarly, properties on the west side of Stonegate and from Stonegate along southern Petergate as far as Loplane (modern Duncombe Place) paid husgabel to the king, as did properties further east in Petergate, backing on to Patrickpool.58

Christopher Norton has speculated that the site of the hospital of St Peter, later St Leonard, within the western angle of the Roman fortress, might once have been part of an archiepiscopal estate in the city or even belonged to the church of St Cuthbert of Durham.59 The later history of the hospital did claim that it originated from a group of ministers of the church of St Peter known as culdees. However, the hospital’s earliest surviving charters are from the twelfth century, copied in its fifteenth-century cartulary. None of its extensive estate in the city was derived from land alienated from the archbishop’s fee, and neither was the hospital successful in claiming exemption of its tenants from paying husgabel rents to the crown.60 The greater likelihood is that the site of the post-Conquest hospital was part of the crown fee in the city at the time of its post-Conquest foundation, and this may also be reflected in the hospital’s own history of the acquisition of its site which asserted the importance of royal patronage from the time of Athelstan to the time of Stephen.61

All the available evidence relating to the payment of husgabel rents therefore suggests that by 1086 the crown fee included the whole of the southern half of the Roman fortress, as well as the southern half of the street of Goodramgate. As the (p.36) Minster enlarged its estate in this part of the city in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, the extension of its lordship over these properties was fiercely disputed (Map 6).62

The strong influence of the Roman plan on the later Minster Close, not only on the orientation of the streets, but also on the location of prestigious buildings within the Minster Close, was almost certainly due to some continuity of settlement from the sixth to eleventh centuries. By far the most convincing explanation of this continuity must be that it was within this area that successive pre-Conquest Minster buildings were located from the seventh century. However, it is also worth considering whether certain features of the Roman topography of the Close were deliberately preserved after as well as before the Conquest, when considerable redevelopment of the city in the first decades of Norman rule resulted in the enhancement of several features of the Roman plan.63

Within areas of the fortress assigned to the king’s fee, the influence of the former Roman plan was not as strong as within the areas belonging to the archbishop. This is apparent both in that part of Goodramgate that lay outside the Minster’s lordship, and in the southern half of the fortress area. Some streets such as Stonegate, Church Street (formerly Girdlergate), possibly Grape Lane and the lost medieval lane of Loplane, either represent modifications of former Roman streets or follow the alignment of Roman buildings (Map 4). A subsidiary Roman street may also be preserved in the line of Little Stonegate and the north-east frontage of St Sampson’s Square (formerly Thursday Market).64 Blake Street, however, is a classic example of a street that appears to have developed as a diagonal short cut between two Roman gateways, the porta praetoria (in St Helen’s Square) and the porta dextra (Bootham Bar), disregarding the Roman layout of streets and buildings in between. The northern portion of this street was enclosed in 1299, but its original alignment still influences property boundaries (Map 6).65 Similarly, in the southern corner of the Roman fortress a large open space, now known as St Sampson’s Square, was approached in the middle ages by the two narrow streets of Davygate and Church Street (formerly Girdlergate). While Church Street may represent a continuation of one section of the Roman intervallum road, Davygate looks like one half of another approximately diagonal short cut between two surviving Roman gates.66

One speculative suggestion is that this southern portion of the fortress might have contained the site of a royal residence in the Anglian period, which might, together with the presence of the Minster in the north half of the fortress, explain the survival of the Roman defences and some street lines. Certainly there is evidence (p.37) in the early twelfth century of significant royal establishments on both banks of the River Ouse at either end of the site of the Roman river crossing (Map 7).67 It is possible that this extensive post-Conquest royal establishment represented a reuse of earlier royal sites located on either side of the Roman river crossing. If so, this would be a significant indicator of a royal presence in the city which, like that of the Minster, was clearly adapted to the Roman topography and reutilized major features from the Roman town plan in both the fortress area and the colonia.

However, uninterrupted continuity of royal occupation in the southern half of the fortress from the Anglian period to the twelfth century seems unlikely. The refashioning of York in the tenth century after the creation of the kingdom of England resulted in a limited royal presence in the city, and the crown had almost no royal estates in the immediate vicinity of York from which such a residence could be supported before 1086.68 It seems more likely that the southern half of the fortress was occupied by other lay communities, including the households of some of the leading Anglo-Scandinavian families of Northumbria over the tenth and eleventh centuries, and that royal occupation of the area represented a new phase of colonization by the Norman kings. The area contained two churches of possibly early pre-Conquest origin (St Benedict and St Wilfrid), and two of probable post-Conquest origin (St Helen and St Sampson) (Map 5). By the 1220s these parishes were still, uniquely in York, paired with each other: St Benedict and St Sampson (in the south-east quadrant of the fortress) were treated as one single parish, St Wilfrid and St Helen (in the south and south-west quadrant) as another.69 The unusual parochial structure of this neighbourhood, combined with the development of new roads entirely disregarding the Roman plan, hints at a complicated series of resettlements of the southern fortress area over the seventh to eleventh centuries, and also to significant changes made under the Norman kings in the early post-Conquest period.

This division of lordship within the fortress area may go some way to explaining why archaeological evidence for its settlement between the sixth and eleventh centuries has sometimes appeared inconsistent and ambiguous. The fortress walls on the north-west and north-east sides of the fortress were frequently re-defended throughout this period, while on the south-west and south-east sides, although they were neglected as defensive structures, they nevertheless survived as a clear topographical features.70 This suggests that the fortress area remained a distinct community, dominated to a large extent by the Minster, but with separate types of development characterizing settlements broadly to the north and south of the via principalis (Petergate). Evidence from the excavations in the Minster Close might be interpreted as indicating a low level of continued occupation between the sixth and the eleventh centuries, and this is reflected in the continuing influence of its (p.38) Roman plan.71 Outside the area of the Close, evidence for intensive Anglian and Anglo-Scandinavian-age settlement within the fortress area is lacking, but ongoing analysis of excavated materials is yielding some evidence of settlement, if not on the scale or intensity of that found in Coppergate.72 Excavations in Patrickpool and Swinegate have revealed successive levels of settled occupation and burials over the ninth and tenth centuries associated with the nearby church of St Benedict, which were later replanned as new property boundaries were established across the site of a former cemetery during the later eleventh century.73 Other excavations, such as those at 1–5 Aldwark and 65 Low Petergate also suggest extensive urban redevelopment in the eleventh century, also resulting in the establishment of new property boundaries and new building.74 Few of the excavations have revealed the deep accumulation of settlement debris from the Anglo-Scandinavian period characteristic of waterfront sites in the city. Indeed, in some places, only a thin layer of black soil has been revealed between the occupation levels of the late Roman period and those of the later eleventh century. This apparent patchiness and frequent re-planning of settlement in the ninth to eleventh centuries suggests that intensive urbanization to the south of Petergate and around Stonegate was only firmly established from the late eleventh century and possibly even after the Norman Conquest. This suggestion is reinforced by recent metrical analysis by Patrick Ottaway of the measurement of burgage plots, which also suggests a late date for the laying out of housing plots in Petergate and Stonegate, using a ‘royal’ perch of 16.5 feet rather than the local customary perch of 18 feet.75 Whereas the areas associated with the archbishops’ fee in the central fortress area seem to have developed in some continuity with the underlying Roman plan, within the areas assigned to the king’s fee such continuity was much less marked, and the accumulating evidence suggests several phases of redevelopment, culminating in significant re-planning of the southern half of the fortress area after the Norman Conquest.

It has often been argued that it was the survival and reuse of Roman buildings and defences, rather than the survival of Roman streets, which influenced the early (p.39) evolution of medieval street patterns.76 Within the area of the fortress at York, this is demonstrably the case, in that the medieval plan respects the site of certain key structures, most notably the principia, but also the defences and their gateways, and other buildings such as some barrack blocks. However, the influence of such sites was stronger in areas belonging to the lordship of the archbishop than in those belonging to the crown where several streets deviated entirely from the Roman plan. A similar pattern is found when we turn to other districts in the city.

The Canabae (Map 8)

In the area of the canabae outside the fortress, archaeological excavation has revealed abundant evidence of intensive occupation in the city centre before the Norman Conquest, particularly in neighbourhoods immediately adjacent to the Rivers Ouse and Foss, such as Skeldergate, Coppergate, and Hungate. However, these settlements were the result of resettlement from the ninth century onwards, rather than continuous occupation. The medieval street plan in these areas thus almost entirely disregards the underlying Roman plan and was the result of a new phase of town planning.

By the later eleventh century, the whole of these former canabae between the Ouse and the Foss belonged to the crown’s fee in the city.77 One possible exception was the district of the Marsh, especially the parishes of All Saints and St John in the Marsh in Hungate, where there is some evidence that the archbishop claimed those parishes as part of his fee (Map 9).78

Certain features of the medieval plan of the former canabae districts certainly suggest the continued influence of some Roman structures. The course of Coneystreet, and of the continuous route following Jubbergate, St Andrewgate, and Love Lane outside the fortress area, might have been influenced by the Roman defences on the south-west and south-east sides of the fortress.79 Otherwise, the streets of the crown’s fee within the newly urbanized district of ninth-to-eleventh-century Coppergate and Ousegate were laid out in an approximately rectilinear form, which largely disregarded the underlying Roman street pattern of the canabae of Eboracum. The essential framework was formed by the rectilinear intersections of three major thoroughfares, each of which carried traffic from the major routes approaching York from north, south, east, and west. As was typical of so many towns that (p.40) flourished before 1100, the places where these long-distance routes intersected developed into major markets.

The first of these major routes is represented in the continuous line of the streets of Micklegate, Ouse Bridge, and Ousegate including modern Pavement (Map 8). These streets carried the main road from the west, from Tadcaster and the great north road, which was the most important inland route to the city from the south and west of England.80 To the east of Ousegate this route continued, by way of St Saviourgate and possibly a defunct street on the site of medieval Stonebow Lane,81 towards one of the eastern entrances to the city at Layerthorpe postern and beyond through the satellite settlements of Heworth and Stockton to east Yorkshire (Map 9). The eastern section of this route was considerably less important than its western counterpart by the later middle ages, but like its western counterpart it is marked by a number of churches of early foundation. Along the full east–west axis there are a total of fourteen churches and chapels of pre-Conquest foundation.82

This west–east route was intersected at two points by two equally important north–south thoroughfares. First was the riverine route represented in the continuous line of the streets of Coney Street (including Lendal and Spurriergate) and Castlegate (including Nessgate). Northwards this road originally continued through the site of the post-Conquest precinct of St Mary’s Abbey to Clifton and the road north towards Thirsk and Catterick.83 Southwards it continued through the site of the Norman castle and on via Fishergate towards Fulford, Selby, and the south. The point at which this north–south route crossed the west–east route at Ousegate, close to Ouse Bridge, was one of the wealthiest neighbourhoods of the city throughout the medieval period, and was at the centre of the main marketing district of the city.

One short stretch of the route, sometimes known as Nessgate, formed the headrow to a funnel-shaped market district, which extended east, past the central church of All Saints as far as the church of St Crux, along the two converging streets of Ousegate and Coppergate. Such funnel-shaped central areas are commonly found at the heart of settlements of this period and were often the major public spaces for commercial and other communal activities. The market function of this district is not well documented until after 1300, but the extensive archaeological excavations of Anglo-Scandinavian Coppergate and Pavement have fully demonstrated the increasingly commercial and industrial nature of this (p.41) neighbourhood over the tenth and eleventh centuries.84 At the church of St Crux, the west–east route was crossed by the second north–south thoroughfare along the streets of Bootham, Petergate, Colliergate, and Fossgate, and extended across Foss Bridge along Walmgate towards Ermine Street, the Humber, and the south. This intersection was the site of a second important marketing district that is mentioned in Domesday. The tapering end of the combined streets of Ousegate and Coppergate (on what was later known as the Pavement) here formed the headrow to the converging streets of Colliergate and the Shambles, with the church of Holy Trinity in King’s Court built at the point of their convergence. This second market district lay immediately outside the site of the eastern entrance to the Roman fortress area. Such a double market arrangement based around two converging street markets is unusual, although the markets themselves and the arrangement of burgage plots around and within them are typical of those found in other pre-Conquest towns such as Lincoln and London.85 Together with the large number of early church foundations, density of occupation, and levels of industrial activity revealed by archaeology, it is a testimony to the commercial importance of this district by the later eleventh century. It is probable that these new settlements were enclosed within defences, although clear evidence for the nature of these defences is not yet available.86

Like many town plans of the ninth to eleventh century, the rectilinear form of these streets and their burgages is adapted to the natural topography of the site, and the burgage plots are long and narrow.87 Patrick Ottaway’s metrical analysis suggests that predominantly this area was planned using the local perch of 18 feet,88 while the orientation of burgage plots suggests that the major streets within this plan were firstly Ousegate,89 and secondly Coney Street and Castlegate, where burgage plots fronted onto those streets, rather than adjacent side streets (Map 10).90 The location of a new river crossing at Ouse Bridge was central to this new street plan, while the number of waterlanes leading from the river frontage of the Ouse up to the streets emphasizes the importance of river traffic. Indeed the plan of the whole area finds (p.42) parallels in other planned later Saxon towns, where the major market street was established away from the river frontage but within a street plan that aided ease of access between the two. A useful comparison would be the plan of ninth-century London, where the market street of Cheapside was laid out to facilitate access to both land-borne and river-borne traffic, but on an inland rather than riverside site.91

Overall, therefore, the canabae was progressively abandoned from the later fourth century, but after the late ninth century was resettled as a planned, market burh outside the walls of the former fortress. When and why this emporium was established under the secular aegis of the king is an issue that will be discussed later, but it should be noted that the former canabae supported a dense network of urban churches of tenth- to eleventh-century foundation. At their heart was the church of All Saints in Ousegate, which might have been an early mother parish church built to serve the new commercial settlement of this quarter.92

Colonia (Map 11)

Within the area of the colonia on the west bank of the Ouse the original alignment of Roman streets has now been almost completely erased. David Palliser has argued that the neighbourhood of Bishophill to the south of Micklegate could be interpreted as being planned on a broadly rectilinear plan in relation to the new street of Micklegate, and might have been the site of an Anglian ‘wic’ or trading settlement.93 Certainly the names of these streets recorded in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries (Skeldergate, Littlegate, and Besingate parallel to the Ouse, crossed by Lounlithgate and Bichill, roughly parallel to Micklegate) do form an approximate grid.94 Skeldergate follows the approximate alignment of a Roman riverine street, and the partial survival of an apsidal Roman building until the ninth century on the site of St Mary Bishophill might have influenced the alignment of the street of Bishophill Senior (formerly Littlegate) along the top of the river terrace.95 Otherwise too little is known of the Roman plan here to speculate much further on the relationship between it and the medieval pattern of streets in this neighbourhood. This whole grid of streets would also have been contained within what are presumed to be the extent of the Roman defences in this area, which did not include the later site of the Old Baile.96

(p.43) As the centre of civilian government of northern Britain, the site of the former Roman colonia was immensely prestigious, and by the later eleventh century the lordship of this symbolically important area was divided between the archbishop and the king (Map 9). The principal ecclesiastical holding was focused around the precinct of the collegiate church of Christ Church, refounded by Ralph Paynel after 1086 as Holy Trinity Priory. Christ Church is recorded by 1066 as a church supported by a community of secular priests or canons, and as one of five great northern Minsters that were exempt from the payment of customary dues to either the king or the earl (together with the minsters of Beverley, Durham, and Ripon, as well as York Minster). It was at the centre of York’s second early ecclesiastical monastic complex and probably in existence by the eighth century. Richard Morris has suggested that this might be the site of a church dedicated to Alma Sophia consecrated by Archbishop Aethelberht in 780.97 The precise identification with Alma Sophia is open to debate, but the close jurisdictional and territorial relationship between the rural and urban estates of Christ Church and those of York Minster do indeed suggest a strong association and common history. To the west of York the holdings of Christ Church in 1086 included a string of rural manors in the Ainsty such as Middlethorpe, Dringhouses, the Poppletons, Acomb, Knapton, and Bilbrough, which neighboured the manors of the archbishop and shared a common parochial organization.98 In an undated charter, the dean and chapter of St Peter’s later confirmed all gifts to Holy Trinity Priory, which might acknowledge the common origin of both the Minster and the Priory’s estates within the lordship of the archbishops.99 The archbishop’s continuing possession of the church of St Mary Bishophill Junior, known as ‘St Mary of the Bishop’ is also well documented.100 This parish church occupied one corner of the precinct allocated to Holy Trinity Priory. This proximity has led several scholars to speculate on a prior association between the two churches. They have suggested that the combined precinct of Christ Church and St Mary Junior originally formed a single ancient ecclesiastical presence at the heart of the former colonia, comparable to a similar cluster of chapels and churches associated with the Minster Close, and that St Mary was only established as parish church and equipped with a new tower in the 1080s.101 However, Holy Trinity’s lordship extended much further even than this. It included the patronage of two nearby (p.44) churches of St Gregory in Micklegate and All Saints in North Street, together with properties in their parishes.102 The early estate of Holy Trinity thus extended across Micklegate to as far as the original main Roman street. Further, only four of the priory’s properties in Micklegate and Bishophill paid husgabel to the crown by the later thirteenth century.103 This pattern suggests that Christ Church had originated at an early stage in the history of the church in York, conceivably as a twin foundation with York Minster under the patronage of the archbishops of York. Its estate dominated the colonia and extended across West Yorkshire. Within the city its estate was largely defined by the Roman walls and street plan, originating before the introduction of Micklegate and Ouse Bridge as a major thoroughfare. As in the fortress area, the estates of the Church thus reflected the continuing influence of Roman elements in the town plan, indicating both their early origin and ability to survive episodes of re-planning during the Anglo-Scandinavian period.

Some authors have speculated that the church and parish of St Mary Bishophill Senior might also once have belonged to the archbishops.104 However, there is no evidence to support this. The Minster never acquired the advowson of St Mary Senior, and properties in its parish are recorded as owing husgabel to the king.105 Indeed, to the west of the Ouse, just as on the east bank, the king’s fee was located largely within riverside parishes. These were the parishes of St Mary in Lounlithgate (later St Mary Senior) and St Martin and St John in Micklegate, as well as part of the parish of All Saints to the north of Micklegate.106 All were clustered along the river front and around the approaches to the river crossings on the site of the Roman crossing and the later Ouse Bridge. Once again it is in these neighbourhoods that the evidence of renewed urban settlement from the later ninth century is most evident in the archaeology. In addition, the crown fee, as recorded in post-Conquest sources, must have included (or acquired) a large precinct in North Street (later Tanner Row) where the king’s house (domus regi) together with a chapel dedicated to St Mary Magdalen was sited by 1130 (Map 11).107 This might have been an ancient royal settlement around the site of the former Roman bridge (p.45) and extending across both banks of the River Ouse, but it was more certainly part of a new Norman royal colonization of York.

On both sides of the river, both king and archbishop by 1086 thus owned clear and well-defined precincts within the most prestigious centres of the former Roman city: the fortress and the colonia. The continuing influence of the Roman plan is more apparent in those areas owned by the church than in areas owned by the crown. The crown fee also included the central riverside neighbourhoods where archaeologists have found the strongest evidence of more intensive commercial settlement, and urban regeneration, between the seventh and eleventh centuries.

Extramural Districts

When we turn to the pattern of lordship in the extramural districts of the city, a new dimension to the emerging pattern of royal and archiepiscopal lordship in the city becomes apparent. To a very large extent, the lordship of the archbishop was completely dominant in the suburbs and immediate rural hinterland of the city. The crown fee was restricted to three narrow corridors of land along approaches to York in the city’s immediate suburbs.

Starting with the eastern suburbs of the city (Map 9), in Monkgate the archbishops’ holdings were concentrated on the north side of that street within the later parish of St Maurice.108 On the south side of Monkgate, between that street and the River Foss and along Barkergate, all references to husgabel refer only to payments made to the king.109 Continuing in a clock-wise direction around the city defences, the order taken by the survey of c.1070–86, in Layerthorpe properties adjacent to the church of St Mary and elsewhere in its parish paid husgabel to the archbishop.110 Beyond Layerthorpe, Tang Hall fields can be identified with the six carucates of the archbishop that belonged to the farm of his hall, which are described in Domesday as being reduced by the flooding of the king’s pool of the (p.46) Foss.111 It is also possible that the archbishop’s lordship once included lands on the opposite bank of the Foss, corresponding with the areas of the small parishes of All Saints in the Marsh and St John’s in Hungate.112

The exact area of the archbishop’s lordship in Walmgate is harder to establish. Throughout the middle ages the name Walmgate applied to the whole of the road represented by modern Walmgate within the present city wall and Lawrence Street without. The same was true of the neighbouring street of Fishergate, which diverged from Walmgate near St Denys’ Church and continued towards Fulford. In the eleventh century the present circuit of the walls, dividing these two streets into separate intra- and extra-mural neighbourhoods, had not been built. However, excavations in Walmgate suggest that by the late eleventh century both intra- and extra-mural sections were settled, with the western sections of Walmgate (now within the walls) more intensively urbanized than those further east.113

Walmgate and Fishergate, adjacent neighbourhoods to the east of the River Foss, are identified in the surveys of both c.1070 and 1106 as districts in which the archbishop shared custom with the king, taking a third part of all revenue.114 However, there is no indication that the archbishop possessed any estates in Fishergate. Instead, most of intramural Walmgate, together with the whole of Fishergate along the banks of the Ouse as far as the manor of Gate Fulford, belonged to the king, and properties there paid husgabel to the crown.115 The archbishop’s share of tolls from the Fishmarket and presumably from other traders (on the Foss (p.47) and possibly at Foss Bridge) was based on his lordship of land along the routes approaching the city along the River Foss and Walmgate, which all converged at Foss Bridge. These semi-rural estates on the east side of the city also neighboured the rural manors of the archbishop and the Minster in the outlying villages of Osbaldwick, Murton, Stockton, Sandburn, and Heworth, which paid geld with York in both 1066 and 1086 and are included in the Domesday account of the civitas (Map 12).116 Clear evidence of the archbishop’s fee can be found in these eastern sections of Walmgate. By 1302 the church of St Edward in Walmgate was in the archbishop’s gift, and properties within its parish paid husgabel to the archbishop.117 The parish of St Edward was adjacent to the archbishop’s holdings in Tang Hall and in the manor of Osbaldwick to the east of Walmgate, and would conform well with the description in the survey of c.1070–86 which indicates that, after Layerthorpe, the lordship extended from ‘Thurbrand’s house all as far as Walmgate’.118 On the west side of Walmgate it is possible that the archiepiscopal mensa included the church and some of the parish of St Lawrence, and certainly included the adjacent churches of St Michael and St Peter-le-Willows, which were located just outside and just inside the site of the present Walmgate Bar (Map 9).119 In the later twelfth century some property in Little Bretgate (Navigation Road) off Walmgate, just within the later city walls, was granted to a tenant ‘saving to the archbishop all the customs due from merchants going by and entering there’.120 It thus seems probable that the boundary between the archiepiscopal and king’s fee in Walmgate lay a short distance inside the line of the defences constructed in the early thirteenth century.

To the west of the River Ouse, the lordship of the archbishops extended over large areas of agricultural land outside the city defences, much of which remained in their possession until the eighteenth century.121 This included Nun Ings on the west bank of the River Ouse (opposite Fishergate), Campleshon fields next to the Knavesmire (part of the manor of Dringhouses), and Bishop’s Fields to the west of Blossomgate. The archbishop also owned residential land outside Micklegate Bar and on the west side of Blossomgate, from which he was still owed husgabel in the mid thirteenth century.122 Closer to the city, the archbishop’s lordship included (p.48) Clementhorpe,123 and extended over the site of the adjacent Norman castle, the ‘Old Baile’, which was built in 1068–9 (Map 11).124 The area of the Old Baile now lies within and helps define the extent of the later medieval city walls, but it is probable that it originally lay outside the defended area of the former colonia of Roman York, and within the ‘suburban’ settlement of Clementhorpe.125 Further to the west of the city, the Minster’s lordship extended over many rural vills near the city, which were later included within the parishes of the archbishop’s lordship in York and administered from his berewick at Sherburn.126 As we have already seen, these manors neighboured those belonging to Christ Church and formed extramural portions of parishes belonging to churches of the archbishop within the city walls in Bishophill and Micklegate.127

Continuing clockwise around the city: on the east bank of the Ouse and in the northern suburbs of the city, the archbishops claimed 4 acres of land in Bootham, which was given to the new foundation of St Mary’s Abbey, and for which they were later compensated by the gift of the church of St Stephen in Fishergate in 1093–5 (Map 13).128 The abbey did not receive all the lands of the archbishop in Bootham, as a number of properties on the north side of the street remained in the Minster’s possession and came to form detached extramural portions of the parish of St Michael-le-Belfrey. As we shall see, it is possible that the archbishop’s claim of lordship in Bootham (and elsewhere in the city) arose from an earlier division of his lordship in the creation of a city estate for the earls of Northumbria.

Lands within the lordship of the archbishop and the Minster thus almost entirely encircled the city, including extensive holdings in all the major suburbs of the city. This dominant position of the archiepiscopal lordship in the near vicinity of the city by 1070 was further evident in the large holdings of the archbishops and the canons in many of the rural manors around the city. To the west of the city these included a large number of manors in the Ainsty, later included in the archiepiscopal estate managed from Sherburn-in-Elmet, while to the east they included extensive holdings in a dozen villages surrounding the city and its suburbs, which were (p.49) described as paying geld with the city and were included within the description of the civitas in the Domesday survey (Map 12).129

By contrast, the relative absence of agricultural land belonging to the king near York suggests that, unlike the Minster community or, as we shall see, the earl of Northumbria, the largely absent late-Saxon kings had no established household in York and thus had little need for an estate of rural manors close by.130 In all the villages included within the circuit of the city in Domesday, the king owned nothing in the time of Edward the Confessor and by 1086 had acquired only three carucates of land in Rawcliffe and Skelton that had formerly belonged to Thorbjorn. The majority of the agricultural lands in the satellite villages of York’s civitas (apart from Heworth) belonged either to the Minster or to the earls of Northumbria.131 In 1066 the king’s relatively small estate in Yorkshire was concentrated in the five large multiple manors of Aldborough and Knaresborough to the north of York, Howden to the south-east, and Tanshelf (or Pontefract) and Wakefield to the south-west (Map 2).132 The nearest of these estates, at Aldborough and Boroughbridge, lay some 20 miles upstream from York along the Ouse. By 1200 the lord of Boroughbridge retained special rights of passage along the river into the city.133 It is therefore possible that a royal residence in the city was supplied from these manors, but on balance it seems unlikely that such distant estates could effectively support a royal establishment in the city. By contrast the royal palace in Winchester was supported by a string of manors along the road north from the city, many of which remained in royal ownership throughout the Anglo-Saxon period, while a number of royal residences in the county of Hampshire are well attested and indeed were more often used as royal residences than the urban palace, which was possibly reserved for ceremonial use from the later tenth century.134 The absence of royal visits to York before the Conquest rendered such a royal ceremonial centre unnecessary.

It is also significant that the only areas demonstrably lying within the lordship of the king in the immediate suburbs of York lay along the routes of some of the major approaches to the city by road and river, and it is tempting to associate these with the statement in Domesday that the king had ‘three ways by road’ and a fourth ‘by water’. These included a broad corridor of land between Monkgate and (p.50) the River Foss, the whole of Fishergate and a broad corridor along Blossomgate. By 1066 a similar corridor between the River Ouse and Bootham might already have been alienated by the crown to the earls of Northumbria for the foundation of their burgh next to St Olave’s church although, as we have seen, this site was also claimed by the archbishops.

Earls of Northumbria

The earldom of Northumbria was established after 954 when York was incorporated into the kingdom of England. In practice the earldom was often divided between Bernicia to the north of the Tyne and Yorkshire to the south. After the conquest of England by Cnut in 1016, Eric of Hlathir was appointed to the earldom and was succeeded, at an uncertain date between 1023 and 1033, by Siward, who first took over the southern part of the earldom before claiming the whole of Northumbria in 1041.135 Siward died in 1055 and was followed by Tostig, who was ousted in a rebellion in 1065, and Morcar, who was finally deposed in 1067, but was replaced in York for a short period by the local nobleman Merleswein after the defeat suffered at the Battle of Fulford in September 1066.136 The earls played a critical role in the establishment of shire government. Domesday records several aspects of their judicial role in Yorkshire and establishes that there was a complete separation between the estates of the king and the earl: ‘in all the royal demesne estates the earl had nothing and similarly in the earl’s demesne the king had nothing except for spiritual jurisdiction which belonged to the archbishop’.137

The extent of the earl’s estates in York can be reconstructed from the properties that passed from Earl Morcar to Count Alan I of Brittany, probably after the rebellion of 1069–71, and which Count Alan then passed on to the new foundation of St Mary’s Abbey. Many of the abbey’s estates are not fully recorded in Domesday because its foundation was in progress at the time of the survey.138 The earl’s York estate lay entirely in the extramural districts of the city, and to the east of the River Ouse (Maps 9 and 13). At the heart was the burgh at ‘Galmou’, outside the north gate of the city in Bootham, which extended to some 4 acres and included the church of St Olave, built by Earl Siward, in which he is buried.139 The earl’s burgh (p.51) is first described in a later copy of a charter of 1088 relating to the endowment of St Mary’s Abbey on the site as: ‘the church of St Olave in which the head of the abbey of St Mary is well established and the burgh in which the church is sited from Galmou towards Clifton and towards the water’.140 The use of the term ‘burgum’ to describe the site could mean the earl’s strong place and centre of government, or it could be a later anachronism: the later abbey of St Mary certainly claimed its own borough in Bootham, distinct from the city of York until 1354, and this early charter only survives in a late copy.141 However, whatever the precision and accuracy of the vocabulary, it is certainly possible that the earls of Northumbria had fostered their own small urban community around their residence and certainly the street name Bootham is thought to derive from the bothis or stalls of traders lining the main road out of the city.142 This was one major approach road to the city in which there is no indication of an area within the king’s fee along the route. The earl was clearly dominant in this neighbourhood and that dominance passed to the new abbey after 1086.

Beyond his burgh, the earl of Northumbria’s lordship near York extended over extramural and rural estates north of the city in Bootham, Gillygate, and Clifton, and beyond in Overton, Rawcliffe, and Skelton, and to the south and east in Walmgate (Hull Road), Fulford, Escrick, and nearby manors.143 This topography suggests that the earl’s estates were carved out of existing estates belonging to the Minster, since in several areas of the city the holdings of the earl were closely interrelated with the holdings of the archbishop’s fee (or adjacent to those of the crown). In Bootham, the original overlordship by the Minster is strongly suggested by Archbishop Thomas’s claim that some of the land given to St Mary’s by Count Alan shortly after 1086 was rightly his.144 Another close tenurial relationship between the estate of the earl and the archbishops is also indicated by the lands of Ulf, a prominent Anglo-Scandinavian thegn and major patron of York Minster after the Conquest. Ulf gave the Minster properties in Bootham and Monkgate, which in both cases were adjacent to property within the fees of the earl and the archbishop (Map 13).145 Ulf’s gifts might have been intended to restore lands to the Minster over which it exercised an ancient claim, originating prior to the creation of the earldom, and which he himself had perhaps acquired as a tenant of the (p.52) earl. Indeed in many of the suburbs and satellite villages near the city, such as Clifton, Newbiggin, extramural Walmgate, Heslington, and Fulford, the estates of the earls were closely intertwined with those of the archbishop and canons of the Minster, even to the point that their tenants shared in the cultivation of common fields such as the ‘Northcroft’, which lay off modern Lord Mayor’s Walk, or the fields of Walmgate and Heslington to the south-east of the city (Map 9).146 Other parts of the earl’s estate were adjacent to the crown fee, such as the earl’s holdings in Gate and Water Fulford, which were adjacent to the king’s riverside holdings in Fishergate.147 The earl’s presence in these eastern suburbs was even commemorated in the name Siward’s Howe for a prominent hill that overlooks the main south-eastern approach to the city from the Humber.148

The pre-Conquest estate of the earl of Northumbria thus consisted of a principal residence in the city and agricultural estates within satellite manors around the city from which it could be easily supplied.149 This must have been created after the formation of the earldom after 954, and possibly as late as its tenure by Siward between 1023 and 1055, during the reigns of Cnut and Edward the Confessor. The church of St Olaf can only have been dedicated after the saint’s death in 1030, and more probably after 1035.150 It has been argued that Cnut was particularly associated with the promotion of Winchester as a royal capital, including the improvement of a number of churches there, and it is not inconceivable that Siward pursued a similar policy towards the elevation of a northern capital.151 The likelihood that the earl’s York estate was established during Siward’s lifetime is further suggested by the naming of certain prominent features in the landscapes of Heslington and Fulford after him, especially the prominent hilltop Siward’s Howe overlooking one branch of Ermine Street (now Hull Road) as it approached York.152 Siward was a notably loyal ally of both Cnut and Edward the Confessor, and invaded Scotland in defence of the claim of his nephew, Malcolm Canmore, to the (p.53) throne in 1054.153 The creation of a stronghold for Siward in York would certainly have cemented his status in the north, especially in the absence of a royal base in the city.

The late date of the establishment of the earl’s fee means that it is difficult to see any distinctive characteristics in its topography. It shared those of the extramural holdings of the cathedral church, from which it was probably largely taken. However, the presence of the burgh in Bootham, the control of strategic features such as Siward’s Howe, and the distribution of rural manors associated with the earls around the city all indicate that this was a substantial settlement intended both to dominate the city and to assert it as a central place of government within the earldom.

As well as a personal stronghold, the earl’s burgh might have been used for the public business of the shire. We do not know where meetings of the shire assembled before 1068. It was common practice elsewhere for the shire to assemble at open-air sites, often located on prominent hills outside the county town and closely associated with sites of punishment, especially gallows. There are several prominent public spaces in York that fulfil these criteria and might have been used as an assembly ground. The sites of public gallows in medieval York all occupied prominent, and often hilly, sites on the major approach roads to the city, on the Mount outside Micklegate near the chapel of St James, near Siward’s Howe (or Heslington Hill) by the road to Hull, and near the Burton Stone by a chapel of St Mary Magdalen on the main road leading north from Bootham.154 By the later middle ages these were the places where the citizens of York traditionally assembled to greet important visitors to the city, and it is not inconceivable that there was in fact more than one assembly ground for each of what later became the three ridings of Yorkshire. All these sites were located at places where the jurisdictions of archbishop and earl or (in the case of the Mount) archbishop and king intersected, reflecting the equally important roles played by both bishops and earls in the development of shire government. We might therefore further conjecture that we have here the traces of an ancient landscape of public jurisdiction and penance incorporated into the practices of shire government in its earliest stages in the tenth and eleventh centuries, since certain sites such as Siward’s Howe and the Mount are prominent enough to have been features of the pre-Roman landscape.

Two other candidates for shire assembly grounds lay nearer to the city centre, but also occupied sites of shared jurisdiction: the medieval fair ground in Gillygate near the northern approaches to the walled city (Map 14),155 and an area with a name that implies some kind of assembly ground, the Gildgarthes, which lay on the west bank near Bishophill, and was within the shared jurisdiction of king and archbishop (Map 11). Nearby was the site of the Norman royal house, which was (p.54) certainly used for shire assemblies in the twelfth century after the position of earl had been replaced by that of the sheriff.156

Finally, there is some slim evidence, discussed in the next chapter, that the strategic site at the confluence of the Rivers Ouse and Foss, which lay in the heart of the king’s fee and upon which the Normans built a castle in1068–9, was also associated with Merleswein, who briefly held the position of earl in 1066.157 This raises the possibility that the military importance of that strategic site was recognized before the construction of the Norman castle and that it had already been ceded to the earls towards the defence of the city prior to the Norman Conquest of the city in 1068.

The fee of the earl, though not recorded at all in Domesday, was clearly an important and even a dominant feature of the political topography of York on the eve of the Conquest. Unlike the king’s fee, it was well provided with rural estates both in the immediate suburbs and the broader rural hinterland of the city, permitting the establishment and provisioning of a permanent household in York. The detailed planning of these suburban settlements likely coincided with the commercial development of the area of York assigned to the crown fee but, rather than being assigned to the king, these rural settlements were instead divided between the Minster and the earldom, possibly in the time of either Archbishop Wulfstan or Earl Siward.158

Summary: the Lordships of the Archbishop, the King and the Earl

The combined estates of the archbishop, St Peter’s Minster, and Christ Church in Micklegate occupied the central places of former Roman imperial power within the walled city, and their estates also dominated the agricultural settlements surrounding the city. This mirrors similar patterns in the pre-Conquest endowment of the minsters in Worcester and London, but not Canterbury, where the cathedral community exercised a much more extensive lordship within the walled enceinte and the royal entrepôt lay some distance away at Fordwich.159 The earl of Northumbria similarly maintained a major stronghold in York, which was supported from rural estates surrounding the city. Almost certainly the earl’s holdings had been carved out of the older estates of the archbishop, possibly during the time of Earl Siward, with whom a number of key sites in the city were personally associated.

The areas that remained to the crown seem equally significant. They included three very broad corridors of land in the city’s suburbs, extending along the eastern, southern, and western approach roads to the city. In addition most of the (p.55) south half of the former fortress area was in the crown’s fee, as was the whole of the district between the fortress and the River Foss around Castlegate, Ousegate, and the Shambles, where the main roads into York converged forming the main market district of the city (Map 8). So, although the area of the crown’s fee in ‘greater York’ was small in area in comparison to the Minster’s, it included those central waterfront districts that were relatively densely urbanized in the later tenth and eleventh centuries. The crown’s fee also included some significant features of the original Roman townscape, such as the site of the river crossing between the colonia and the fortress, the area around the porta sinistra at the entrance to King’s Court, and possibly the site of the former imperial palace within the colonia.

At what date was this original division of interest between a crown fee and a church fee first made? The division is a suspiciously rational one. It certainly would seem to reflect (with almost textbook clarity) the prescription of late Anglo-Saxon law codes that kings had a special responsibility for roads and for the merchants using them.160 It hints perhaps at some decision having been taken to share out the territory of the town in a way that accorded with the cultural expectations of the kinds of activities that should fall within the jurisdiction of a king rather than a bishop. But was the decision to divide the city in this way made before or after the resettlement and commercial development of areas such as Coppergate or Ousegate from around 900? Did the division reflect the existing economic development of the city, or did the division itself promote the commercial development of land assigned to the kings?

Comparison with other cathedral cities is instructive. Both the cities of Gloucester and Worcester initially developed under the patronage of their cathedral churches, but in both cases a seemingly voluntary division was made in the ninth century with the establishment of new market burhs planned according to new, approximately rectilinear plans.161 In the city of Gloucester the burh occupied the eastern half of the area formerly enclosed within the Roman defences, while the western half around the cathedral was less intensively developed and the older Roman plan was a more visible influence on the medieval street plan. The city of Worcester also originally developed largely within the lordship of its bishops,162 but in the late ninth century the bishop of Worcester and the earl of Mercia came to an agreement about the development of a new burh to accommodate the trading community of the city, which was located to the north of, but distinct from, the religious precinct of the cathedral close.163 The new burh required an extension to (p.56) be built to the original walled Roman town, which was again planned on a roughly rectilinear plan and was enclosed within new defences. The earl and the bishop were to share the profits of administering the new town in Worcester, but in both cities the new burhs were assigned to the secular authority. The cities of Mercia, especially Worcester, had close institutional links with the city of London, which provides another instructive parallel for York. There the bishop’s soke within the area of the city defences was divided between two main nuclei.164 The largest area was a major cluster of holdings in parishes around Bishopsgate, in the eastern half of the walled city on the hill to the east of the Walbrook, which centred on the site of the former Roman basilica and forum: the centre of government in Roman London. The second nucleus was around the cathedral church of St Paul’s in the western half of the city. The bishop’s soke near St Paul’s was considerably smaller and more attenuated by the time it was recorded in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, but all around it lay the planned ninth-century burh of Alfred, with the great market street of Cheapside to its immediate north. As in York, the bishop’s soke in London thus occupied two highly symbolic sites in the former imperial city, but was quite distinct from both the earlier Saxon wic that has been identified at Aldwych, and the later Saxon burh around Cheapside.165 Indeed, the comparison with this new evidence from York could even be used towards a reassessment of the London evidence, suggesting that there too the great Alfredian refashioning of the city in the development of the Cheapside area represented an encroachment upon, and new division of, responsibilities previously vested entirely in the agency of the bishop.

Only in the case of Worcester do we have explicit documentary evidence of the motivation behind the planning of a new burh in the form of the charter between the bishop and the earl in the late ninth century, with the clear policy of establishing the market in the secular half of the town, even if the profits were to be shared.

Applying all this evidence to the chronology of the development of  York, I would suggest that the entire city and its immediate hinterland was originally within the authority of the cathedral church established in the seventh century, but that at that time there was no clear distinction in formal institutional terms between ecclesiastical and royal power. It is probable that small centres of population supporting this central ritual site were dispersed over a wide area around the former Roman town, including the twelve different villages around the city which paid geld with it and are included in the description of the civitas Eboraci (Map 12).166 As A. G. Dickens (p.57) first suggested, it is possible that an extensive civitas existed distinct from the smaller defended town, as was the case in other Roman towns such as Nottingham, Gloucester, Colchester, and Leicester, although not Lincoln.167 Such a definition of the city of  York in the pre-Conquest period would conform well with the late Roman use of civitas to describe an administrative district.168 The dominant position of the lordship of the archbishop and his cathedral church over this ‘greater city’ seems significant in supporting the supposition that in origin York was indeed a city dominated and developed under the aegis of the cathedral community at its heart.

Although we still have much to learn about York between the fifth and the ninth century, it would seem that commercial settlements, even if not necessarily of a highly developed nature, did develop in small wics around the city centre from the seventh century.169 They were probably stimulated by the needs of the clerical community and represented an early stage in the development of local and regional trade routes.170 One such wic was in Fishergate, where excavations have revealed what appears to be a fairly extensive Anglian trading settlement of the eighth century occupying an area to the east of the Foss, remote both from the centres of occupation of Roman York and also from the extensive cemetery areas of the Roman city, which were largely clustered to the west of the colonia and fortress.171 This settlement lay within what were eventually to become the suburbs of the later medieval city. Others will almost certainly be found on other riverine sites in and near the city. As in the case of other cathedral cities, such as Gloucester or Worcester, the church was almost certainly a key stimulant of these developments, and indeed successive clerical writers took pride in the idea of a cathedral city that was the prosperous centre of cosmopolitan trading networks. Nevertheless, it may be significant that the one proven wic at Fishergate was located within a district later recorded as assigned to the king’s fee in the city. Will others be found in other sites assigned to royal lordship in the southern half of the Roman fortress, or in riverside neighbourhoods such as Hungate and south Monkgate on the Foss, intramural Walmgate, or Skeldergate on the Ouse?

A new phase is evident in the development of the town from the later ninth, and especially tenth, century with the revitalization of commercial life within the former Roman canabae and extensive re-planning of roads and burgage plots both there and in the older wic of Fishergate. Did this re-planning coincide with the (p.58) division of the town into separate lordships as it did in Worcester and some other cathedral cities? There is no evidence to provide a clear answer either way. Such planned commercial settlements were promoted by episcopal landowners in other northern towns such as Beverley, Ripon, and Durham at about the same time. It is entirely possible that the new commercial settlements of tenth-century York were initiated under episcopal authority and were only later ceded to the king. The most likely date for this rational redistribution of lordships would be some time after the creation of the shire of Yorkshire and the re-establishment of the earldom. It is at least possible that the example of Worcester provided a model for a similarly rational division of lordships in York. From 972 the bishoprics of Worcester and York were usually held jointly, and it is perhaps the kind of reform that might be associated with the pioneering Bishop Oswald (bishop of Worcester 961–92 and also archbishop of York from 972), who is thought to have played a significant role in the urban development of Worcester, and was credited by at least one contemporary with presiding over a large and thriving mercantile community in York.172 Another candidate might be Wulfstan, bishop of London until 1002, and then jointly holding the see of Worcester with that of York until 1016, when he nominally surrendered Worcester. He died at York in 1023. Wulfstan was the greatest homilist and legislator of his age, whose writings on the clergy, the laity, and the king, culminating in the great law codes of King Cnut, laid the foundations of English royal law. They have been characterized by his biographer as the earliest sustained attempt to build a civic society infused with an active Christian morality, in which bishops and kings had separate but mutually supportive roles to play.173 It is tempting to attribute the administrative reorganization of York into a Minster fee and a separate king’s fee with this great reformer.

It is not clear whether the division between archbishop and king occurred at the same time as separate provision was made for the earl of Northumbria, or somewhat earlier. The likeliest candidate for the creation of the earl’s fee in York is undoubtedly Siward, who was an influential figure in the north even before his accession to the earldom. Inevitably the assignment of dates to the creation of the separate fees is speculative, but it seems possible that the final tripartite division between archbishop, earl, and king occurred during the reign of King Cnut (d.1035), resulting in a division of already existing field systems and associated settlements. The whole process of the reform of the townscape must have been closely related to the establishment of new forms of royal government in Yorkshire, the establishment of a shire administration, the engagement of both earl and archbishop (p.59) in that process and the development of new forms of taxation and jurisdiction centred on the shire town.174 If this speculation can be supported, then the creation of first a king’s fee and then an earl’s fee from an original lordship associated with the archbishops and the Minster would have been made long after the signs of urban revival are first apparent in the archaeological record in neighbourhoods such as Coppergate. In other words, the town developed before the administrative divisions between different lordships were made. The chronology of when these divisions were made is inevitably speculative, but all three were clearly in place by the reign of Edward the Confessor, however inadequately they are recorded in Domesday.

In Worcester, Gloucester, London, and York, the division of the cities between different lordships permitted crown and church to exercise a joint lordship, while also permitting the church to develop religious precincts that were relatively secluded in relation to the commercial centres of the town. This topographical separation and creation of clearly demarcated sacred spaces was a symbolic step towards the separation of the ‘two laws’ that was eventually to become an even more marked feature of the administration of York and other towns in the centuries after the Norman Conquest. It was reflected on the ground in the lighter development and urbanization of the archbishop’s fee compared to the areas assigned to the king.

However, the remoteness of York from Wessex and the separate history of the Anglo-Scandinavian north meant that for most of the eleventh century the earl of Northumbria was a much more influential presence in York than was the king. Estates for the earl were literally carved out of the church’s holdings both in and around the city, enabling him to maintain a burh, a centre of government, in York, while during the Conquest the earl probably also took charge of the strategic military site at the confluence of the rivers which was later to be redeveloped as a Norman castle.

Following the Conquest, the new Norman kings’ urgent priority would be to imprint their own authority on York at the expense especially of that of the earl. The transfer of the earl’s estates to the new abbey of St Mary and the transformation of central York into a truly royal citadel was to have a dramatic impact, radically transforming its pre-Conquest organization and breaking down the distinctions in the character of different neighbourhoods that had been such a strong feature of the pre-Conquest city.


(1) D. Keene, ‘London from the Post-Roman Period to 1300’, in CUHB, i:187–216; D. A. Hinton, ‘The Large Towns, 600–1300’, in CUHB, i:217–44.

(2) R. Goddard, Lordship and Medieval Urbanisation: Coventry, 1043–1355 (Woodbridge, 2004); N. Baker and R. Holt, Urban Growth and the Medieval Church: Gloucester and Worcester (Aldershot, 2004).

(3) R. Bartlett, The Making of Europe: Conquest, Colonization and Cultural Change, 950–1350 (London, 1993), 167–96; K. D. Lilley, Urban Life in the Middle Ages, 1000–1450 (Basingstoke, 2002), 106–7; J. Campbell, ‘Power and Authority, 600–1300’, in CUHB, i:51–78.

(4) R. I. Moore, The First European Revolution, c.970–1215 (Oxford, 2000).

(5) The Domesday Book was compiled in 1086 (although David Roffe has argued for 1088) and compares the current situation with that in the reign of King Edward the Confessor who died December 1065. D. M. Palliser, Domesday York, Borthwick Papers, 78 (York, 1990) contains a review of earlier studies. More recent comment includes D.W. Rollason, D. Gore and G. Fellows-Jensen, Sources for York History to AD 1100 , AY, 1:1 (York, 1998), 179–220; Campbell, ‘Power and Authority’, 53–60; R. Holt, ‘Society and Population, 600–1300’, in CUHB, i:82–6; Hinton, ‘Large Towns’, 233–4; A. Dyer, ‘Appendix: Ranking Lists of English Medieval Towns’, in CUHB, i:748–53; D. W. Rollason, ‘Anglo-Scandinavian York: The Evidence of Historical Sources’, in R. A. Hall et al. (eds), Aspects of Anglo-Scandinavian York, AY, 8:4 (York, 2004), 314–24.

(6) Dyer, ‘Appendix: Ranking Lists of English Medieval Towns’, 752.

(7) Domesday Book, fo. 298 a, b. The entry for York continues with a description of the eighty-four carucates in twelve neighbouring villages which gelded with the city (Map 4), and within which both the archbishop and the canons of York Minster had extensive holdings.

(8) A. G. Dickens, ‘The “Shire” and Privileges of the Archbishop in 11th Century York’, YAJ, 38 (1955 for 1952–5), 131–47; J. H. Harvey, ‘Bishophill and the Church of York’, YAJ, 41 (1965), 377–93. See also K. Harrison, ‘The Pre-Conquest Churches of York: With an Appendix on Eighth-Century Northumbrian Annals’, YAJ, 40 (1960), 232–49.

(9) S. Rees Jones, ‘Property, Tenure and Rents: Some Aspects of the Topography and Economy of Medieval York’, unpublished DPhil thesis, 2 vols (University of York, 1987).

(10) Palliser, Domesday York, 1, 11–12; C. Norton, ‘The Anglo-Saxon Cathedral at York and the Topography of the Anglian City’, Journal of the British Archaeological Association, 151 (1998), 1–42, esp. 19–26; Rollason, Gore and Fellows-Jensen, Sources for York History to AD 1100, 185–6, 197; Rollason, ‘Anglo-Scandinavian York’, 316.

(11) A. G. Dickens argued that the archbishop’s shire should be conceived of as ‘a distinct quarter of the city rather than a chequered patchwork of houses’ and favoured the area around the Minster Close. This was refuted by John Harvey who demonstrated the extent of the archbishop’s lordship in parts of Bishophill and the western suburbs of York. The truth lies somewhere between Dickens’ two extremes: Dickens, ‘The “Shire” and Privileges of the Archbishop in 11th Century York’, 138–9; Harvey, ‘Bishophill and the Church of York’, 377–93; L. P. Wenham et al., St Mary Bishophill Junior and St Mary Castlegate, AY, 8:2 (London, 1987), 85–9.

(12) N. Brooks, The Early History of the Church of Canterbury: Christ Church from 597 to 1066 (Leicester, 1984), 27–30; A. R. Rumble, Property and Piety in Early Medieval Winchester: Documents relating to the Topography of the Anglo-Saxon and Norman City and its Minsters, Winchester Studies, 4:3 (Oxford, 2002); C. Dyer, Lords and Peasants in a Changing Society: The Estates of the Bishopric of Worcester, 680–1540 (Cambridge, 1980), 2–3; H. B. Clarke and C. Dyer, ‘Anglo-Saxon and Early Norman Worcester: The Documentary Evidence’, in P. A. Barker (ed.), ‘The Origins of Worcester’, Transactions of the Worcestershire Archaeological Society, 3rd ser., 2, (1970 for 1968–9), 27–33.

(13) YMA, L2/1, pt. i, fo. 61; F. Liebermann, ‘An English Document of about 1080’, YAJ, 18 (1905), 412–16; discussed and translated by Dickens, ‘The “Shire” and Privileges of the Archbishop in 11th Century York’, 138–9; Rollason, Gore, and Fellows-Jensen, Sources for York History to AD 1100, 210–13. This document is difficult to date accurately. The witnesses include Hugh (son of Baldri), sheriff of Yorkshire, who held this office from 1069 until after 1078 and who died in 1086. They also include Herngrim the monk, who is recorded elsewhere as giving land to St Mary’s Abbey before 1088. The absence of reference to the Minster’s possessions in Bootham may suggest that this survey was drawn up after the foundation of St Mary’s Abbey in 1086. Indeed, the new endowment of the abbey and the resulting dispute with the archbishop might provide a possible reason for the composition of this survey. David Palliser has suggested that this survey might have been completed as part of the process of the compilation of Domesday Book. D. M. Palliser, ‘An Introduction to the Yorkshire Domesday’, in A. Williams and G. H. Martin (eds), The Yorkshire Domesday, 3 vols (London, 1992) i: 1–38.

(14) Visitations and Memorials of Southwell Minster, ed. A. F. Leach, Camden Society, New ser., 48 (London, 1891), 190–7. Rollason, Gore, and Fellows-Jensen, Sources for York History to AD 1100, 220–5. A writ was subsequently issued confirming the archbishop’s rights. (HCY, iii:22). The authenticity of these documents has been disputed: E. U. Crosby, Bishop and Chapter in Twelfth-Century England: A Study of the Mensa Episcopalis, Cambridge Studies in Medieval Life and Thought, 4th ser., 23 (Cambridge, 1994), 351–5. The greatest doubts concern the authenticity of the dating of the jurisdictional claims of the chapter, rather than the description of the extent of the archbishop’s holdings in the city, which bears a close resemblance to the survey of c.1070–86.

(15) The fact that both the surveys of c.1070–86 and 1106 only survive in much later copies is testimony to the continuing concern about the extent of the lordships of both the archbishop and the chapter in the city in the thirteenth and fourteenth century when the surviving copies were made. They tell us what the Minster believed was the extent of its holdings and its jurisdiction over them in York at the time of the Conquest and demonstrate a desire to bring to an end a period of lawlessness through a common judicial process. The last survey in particular emphasizes the role of the king in bringing peace to the church. In both cases there is little reason to doubt that the original inquests took place, nor to suggest that the extent of church holdings in the city is fabricated. However, Crosby is probably correct to suggest that there may be grounds for doubting the authenticity of the jurisdictional powers claimed, and in particular the independence of the chapter’s jurisdiction from the archbishop’s as early as 1106.

(16) R. M. T. Hill and C. N. L. Brooke, ‘From 627 until the Early Thirteenth Century’, in G. E. Aylmer and R. Cant (eds), A History of York Minster (Oxford, 1977), 28.

(17) S. Brown, The Medieval Courts of the York Minster Peculiar, Borthwick Papers, 66 (York, 1984), 2.

(18) Brown, The Medieval Courts of the York Minster Peculiar, 33.

(19) F. Hill, Medieval Lincoln (Cambridge, 1948), 55–62; ‘The Winton Domesday’, ed. F. Barlow, in M. Biddle (ed.), Winchester in the Early Middle Ages: An Edition and Discussion of the Winton Domesday, Winchester Studies, 1 (Oxford, 1976), 7–8; P. Taylor, ‘The Bishop of London’s City Soke’, Bulletin of the Institute of Historical Research, 53 (1980), 174–82.

(20) YMA, L2/1, pt. iii, fo. 67v; pt. iv, fo. 8. The contextual history of this plot establishes that it was on the north side of Low Petergate in front of the west end of York Minster: Rees Jones, ‘Property, Tenure and Rents’, ii:208.

(21) BL, Cotton MS Nero D III, fo. 128. The contextual history of this plot locates it on the south side of modern High Petergate: Rees Jones, ‘Property, Tenure and Rents’, ii:13.

(22) The oldest copy of the 1276 survey is YMA, L2/2a, fos. 21–22v; a later copy is YMA, L2/1, pt. iv, fos. 43v–45v.

(23) ‘Ibidem [L2/2a: Idem] iuratores dicunt quad tota illa terra inter celdam (L2/2a: seldam) Johannis Ypothecarii (L2/2a: Apothecarii] in Petergate et aulam que dicitur Mulberi’ (L2/2a: mulberey] est (est) de prebends de Geveldale, in qua terra sunt quinque tofta, et solvent gevelgeld ballivis Ebor’ (pro omnibus). (L2/2a; omitted] Qualiter devenit ad libertatem Sancti Petri non possunt inquirere pro elapsu temporis, per quad impetrata ignorant.’ YMA, L2/1, pt. iv, fo. 43v; YMA, L2/2a, fo. 21; Rees Jones, ‘Property, Tenure and Rents’, ii:67.

(24) D. M. Palliser, ‘York’s Earliest Administrative Record: The Husgabel Roll of c. 1284’, YAJ, 50 (1978), 81–91.

(25) For mensa see glossary.

(26) The ‘Minster Close’ as the name of an area around the Minster is not recorded before the late thirteenth century. There are numerous references from the later twelfth and thirteenth centuries to the ‘cemetery of St Peter’, which predominantly seem to refer to areas to the south and west of the present Minster church. In the 1276 survey it is referred to both as ‘clausum cimiterii ecclesie Sancti Petri’ and as ‘cimiterium’. The 1276 survey notes that this close contained both houses and tenants but does not describe them in more detail, in contrast to the itemized description of the Minster’s properties outside this close. Archaeological excavation has demonstrated that a part of this area was used for burials down to the tenth century, but the term cemetery does not imply continued use of the whole area for burial of the dead.

(27) Dickens, ‘The “Shire” and Privileges of the Archbishop in 11th Century York’, 141.

(28) Some remains of the chapel and an arcade survive: RCHME, City of  York, v, 129a. The earliest documentary references to the palace are of the thirteenth century: BL, Cotton MS Claudius B III, fo. 99v; YMA, L2/1, pt. iii, fo. 17; The Register, or Rolls, of Walter Gray, Lord Archbishop of York, ed. J. Raine, SS, 56 (Durham, 1872), 133. At least one property adjoining the cemetery of St Peter and fronting onto Petergate was described in 1173 × 1181 as being held in free burgage of the archbishop and owing husgabel to him: YMA, L2/1, pt. ii, fos. 45r–v; BL, Cotton MS Claudius B III, fo. 40; EYC, i:218. See p. XX.

(29) Sandra Brown has tentatively identified fourteen, out of a final complement of thirty-six prebends, as the earliest foundations, dating from 1070 × 86: S. Brown, ‘The Peculiar Jurisdiction of York Minster during the Middle Ages’, unpublished DPhil thesis (University of York, 1981), 31–2. These were the prebends of Upper Poppleton (later Givendale), Holme, Bugthorpe, Grindale, Husthwaite, Langtoft, North Newbald, South Newbald, Osbaldwick, Riccall, Salton, Stillington, Strensall, and Warthill. Twelve of these early prebends were endowed with rural estates from the mensa capituli. Of these twelve, seven were also provided with residences inside the Minster Close and in the immediate vicinity of the Norman Minster; (see n. 31 below).

(30) YMA, L2/2a, fo. 47; YMA, VC 3/Vo 7; RCHME, City of  York, v, 69, 181; Rees Jones, ‘Property, Tenure and Rents’, ii:211–15 (Tenements 58–61).

(31) These were the prebends of Langtoft, Warthill, Grindale, Strensall, Salton, Husthwaite, and Stillington: YMA, L2/1, pt. ii, fo. 14v, pt. iii, fo. 63; YMA, M 2/4g, fo. 35v; YMA, M 2/5, fos. 252, 277, 343v, 349; YMA, VC 3/Vi 139–40, 168; BL, Cotton MS Claudius B III, fos. 13, 16v; BL, Cotton MS Nero D III, fos. 7, 179v, 180; BL, Cotton MS Vitellius A II, fos. 136, 142 (note); EYC, i, nos. 282–5; Register of Walter Gray, ed. Raine, 133; RCHME, City of York, v, 69; YMF, i, nos. 48–9; Rees Jones, ‘Property, Tenure and Rents’, ii:187–91 (Tenement 50). All were otherwise endowed with estates described as belonging to the mensa capituli in Domesday.

(32) YMA, L2/1, pt. iii, fo. 3, pt. iv, fo. 44r–v; YMA, L2/2a, fos. 21v–22; YMA, M2/3a, fo. 20; Rees Jones, ‘Property, Tenure and Rents’, ii:200–10 (Tenements 55–7).

(33) Domesday Book, fo. 298a; Rollason, Gore, and Fellows-Jensen, Sources for York History to AD 1100, 220–5; HCY, iii:34–6; F. Drake, Eboracum, or, the History and Antiquities of the City of York (London, 1736; repr. Wakefield, 1978), 571; Dickens, ‘The “Shire” and Privileges of the Archbishop in 11th Century York’, 141; Brown, ‘Peculiar Jurisdiction of York Minster’, 30, 55–7.

(34) YMA, L2/1, pt. iv, fo. 44r–v; YMA, L2/2a, fos. 21v–22.

(35) YMA, L2/2A, fos. 30–31; see pp. 173, 176–9, 271–2.

(36) It was designated as ‘Street 2’: D. Phillips and B. Heywood, Excavations at York Minster, ed. M. O. H. Carver, 2 vols (London, 1985–95), Vol 1, 93, 203.

(37) Bootham Bar at one end of the street now occupies the site of the former porta dextra. Neither street is recorded in any written sources before the twelfth century: (A. H. Smith, The Place-Names of the East Riding of Yorkshire and York, English Place-Name Society, 14 (Cambridge, 1937), 297, 298; D. M. Palliser, ‘The Medieval Street Names of York’, York Historian, 2 (1978), 13, 15. Excavations at 65 Low Petergate revealed buildings aligned on the present street frontage by the eleventh century: L. P. Wenham, ‘Excavations in Low Petergate, York, 1957–58’, YAJ, 44 (1972), 77.

(38) Rees Jones, ‘Property, Tenure and Rents’, ii. Late Roman street levels below Petergate were sealed by 1.8m of dark silt deposits. There can thus be no possibility of direct continuity of use between the Roman and later medieval periods, and the reestablishment of Petergate as a street must indicate a period of replanning, probably associated with the development of the Minster, at a time when the fortress gates still survived and before the late tenth century: D. Tweddle, ‘The Anglian City’, in D. Tweddle, J. Moulden, and E. Logan (eds), Anglian York: A Survey of the Evidence, AY, 7:2 (York, 1999), 148, 151–2.

(39) This street is apparent on the earliest surveyed maps of the neighbourhood (OS 1:1056, 1852) as a minor lane following a prominent property boundary and is referred to in surveys of the Minster’s estates in the area made in the fourteenth century. The forthcoming PhD thesis by Gareth Dean is assessing the archaeological evidence for the topography of this neighbourhood.

(40) Norton, ‘Anglo-Saxon Cathedral at York’, 1–42. Although I do not agree with all of Christopher Norton’s argument, and particularly that concerning the extent of the archbishop’s holdings in York, the argument that the pre-Conquest Minster lay somewhere to the north-west of the present Minster within the Close is extremely convincing. Norton goes on to speculate that there was an extension of this ‘Street of the Canons’ from its northern end, beneath the present Minster, connecting it to the southern end of Chapter House Street. There is no evidence for this hypothesis and recent work on the twelfth-century Minster now suggests that such an extension was unlikely to have existed (Norton, personal comment, May 2007).

(41) The Minster was later extended across the frontages of these houses. The footings of medieval buildings fronting onto a street on this alignment have been revealed in excavations along the foundations of the south wall of the fourteenth-century Lady Chapel.

(42) For the probably early medieval origins of St Michael-le-Belfrey, see Norton, ‘Anglo-Saxon Cathedral at York’, 5–9. The deanery was relocated to its present site, north of the Minster, in the nineteenth century.

(43) BL, Cotton MS Claudius B III, fos. 40, 99v; YMA, L2/1, pt. ii, fo. 45r–v, pt. iii, fo. 17; EYC, i:218; TNA, SC 6/4563, m. 122; Rees Jones, ‘Property, Tenure and Rents’, ii:200–10 (Tenements 55–7).

(44) The sequence and nature of the use of these buildings between the sixth and eleventh centuries is discussed by Derek Phillips and Martin Carver in Phillips and Heywood, Excavations at York Minster, ed. Carver, i:121–7, 151–2, 177–221.

(45) See pp. 144–6.

(46) BL, Cotton MS Nero D III, fo. 73r–v; YMA, L2/1, pt. iv, fo. 44v; YMA, L2/2a, fo. 22v; YMA, VC 3/Vi 1, 3, 113b, 120, 125, 126, 128, 139, 140, 167; Chatsworth House, Hardwick MS 20, fo. 99; Register of  Walter Gray, ed. Raine, 133, 272n.; Charters of the Vicars Choral of  York Minster, ed. N. Tringham, YASRS, 148 & 156, 2 vols (Leeds, 1993–2002), i, nos. 3, 127, 138, 140, 143–4, 161, 168.

(47) EYC, ii:303. An advowson was the right to present a nominee for a vacant ecclesiastical benefice or living, in this case as rector of the church. In the case of parish churches ownership of the advowson often lay with the lord of the principal manor in the parish. In this case the church’s parish was divided between the fees of the archbishop and Durham Priory.

(48) The archbishop’s lordship of part of this parish was possibly associated with the one quarter of the advowson of the church of St Helen in Aldwark, which was later acquired by the common fund of the dean and chapter: D. M. Palliser, ‘Location and History’, in J. R. Magilton, The Church of St Helen-on-the-Walls, Aldwark, AY, 10:1 (London, 1980), 7; S. Rees Jones, ‘A Short History of the College of the Vicars Choral’, in J. D. Richards, The Vicars Choral of York Minster: The College at Bedern, AY, 10:5 (York, 2001), 383, 389.

(49) S. Rees Jones, ‘Historical Background’, in R. A. Hall, H. MacGregor, and M. Stockwell (eds), Medieval Tenements in Aldwark, and Other Sites, AY, 10:2 (London, 1988), 52–3.

(50) Rotuli Hundredorum temp. Hen. III. & Edw. I., ed. W. Illingworth and J. Caley, Record Commission, 2 vols (London, 1812–18), i:119; Yorkshire Hundred and Quo Warranto Rolls, 1274–1294, ed. B. English, YASRS, 151 (Leeds, 1996), 74.

(51) H. G. Ramm has suggested that Goodramgate originally extended in an almost straight diagonal line from the porta sinistra to the porta decumana, which he suggests was not stopped up until sometime after the late twelfth century when it was replaced by a gate on the site of the present Monk Bar as the principal eastern entrance to the city. This speculative suggestion has been followed by later authors such as Norton and Tweddle; H. G. Ramm, ‘A Case of Twelfth-Century Town Planning in York?’, YAJ, 42 (1968), 132–5; D. Tweddle, J. Moulden, and E. Logan (eds), Anglian York: A Survey of the Evidence, AY, 7:2 (York, 1999), 158; Norton, ‘Anglo-Saxon Cathedral at York’. Although an attractive theory, it has not proved possible to substantiate this from documentary sources of the late twelfth century and after, which all suggest an alignment of streets and tenement boundaries in northern Goodramgate and Ogleforth similar to that recorded in the 1852 Ordnance Survey map of York. This gives no indication of an abandoned northern extension of Goodramgate towards the via decumana, but does confirm the deviation of the southern portion of the street from the Roman street plan. The most plausible interpretation is that the two gates remained in use simultaneously for a period of time, and there is other evidence to suggest that Monk Bar was in use before the twelfth century, see pp. 45–6, 49–50, 81.

(52) On the east side of Goodramgate the king’s fee included properties in the parish of Holy Trinity up to and including the southern portion of the site of the later College of the Vicars Choral in the Bedern. On the west side of Goodramgate it included properties immediately to the south of the church of Holy Trinity which belonged to Durham Priory. These can be identified with nos 1–32 in the husgabel roll of c.1284; D. M. Palliser, ‘York’s Earliest Administrative Record’, YAJ, 50 (1978), pp. 83–5; Rees Jones, ‘Property, Tenure and Rents’, ii:147–78 (Tenements 33–45); Rees Jones, ‘A Short History of the College of the Vicars Choral’, 389–90.

(53) Tillott. ‘The parish churches’, VCHY, 372.

(54) The property given to Cuthbert was described as ‘all that land in the city of York that lies from the wall of St Peter’s church to the great gate towards the west, and from the wall of St Peter’s church to the city wall towards the south’: Symeonis Dunelmensis Opera et Collectanea, ed. J. H. Hinde, SS, 51 (Durham, 1868), 140. Several alternative sites for this property have been suggested. Professor Palliser has suggested a location for this property on the west bank, and Norton has suggested a site within the western wall of the former fortress on the site of the later hospital of St Leonard. Dominic Tweddle suggests the whole southern quadrant of the fortress area: D. M. Palliser, ‘York’s West Bank: Medieval Suburb or Urban Nucleus?’, in P. V. Addyman and V. E. Black (eds), Archaeological Papers from York presented to M. W. Barley (York, 1984),104; Norton, ‘Anglo-Saxon Cathedral at York’, 17; Tweddle, Moulden, and Logan (eds), Anglian York, 159–61. In the context of the known history of the bishop of Durham’s estates in York from the later eleventh century, the area including Holy Trinity, Goodramgate, and adjacent properties in the same parish, is the only holding of Durham’s in the city of  York that is both documented and that was not the result of later, apparently post-Conquest, acquisitions. (See p. 167.) There is no documentary evidence to support either Palliser, Norton, or Tweddle’s suggestions.

(55) See pp. xxvii (Map 15), 146–8.

(56) See pp. xix (Map 6), 143.

(57) YMA, L2/1, pt. iv, fos. 43v–45v. Properties along the Petergate frontage all paid husgabel to the king in 1276, with the exception of those belonging to the prebend of Bramham assigned to the priory of Nostell. In Stonegate, Mulberry Hall (part of Mowbray Hall and not on its present site) was exempt, and of the three tofts between Mulberry Hall and Swinegayle (Little Stonegate), which were called ‘Petrebordland’, some paid husgabel and some did not. The exemption of these properties from paying husgabel may be associated with special privileges given to the honour of Mowbray and the priory of Nostell in the twelfth century. See p. 143 n. 25.

(58) Rees Jones, ‘Property, Tenure and Rents’, ii:75–146.

(59) Norton, ‘Anglo-Saxon Cathedral at York’, 17–18.

(60) See pp. 163–5, 173, 177.

(61) The narrative history of the hospital in its fifteenth-century cartulary celebrated the role of Athelstan as an early patron of the hospital and later forgeries of post-Conquest charters recorded grants by William I and William II toward the foundation and endowment of the canons of St Peter with land before the church of York for building a hospital or lodgings (hospitalitatem). This probably referred to the site of the hospital which extended right up to the south side of High Petergate inside Bootham Bar where the hospital owned a number of tenements as part of its fee. There is no need to suggest, as some have done, that this grant related to a different site from that which the hospital eventually occupied. By the later twelfth century the hospital of St Leonard also drew some rents from several properties along the perimeter of the Minster Close, and by 1390 it also owned a free tenement immediately inside Bootham Bar on the north side of Petergate: BL, Cotton MS Nero D III, fos. 7, 69, 103v, 179v–180; YMA, L2/1, fo. 62; YMA, M2/2c, fo. 31; EYC, i:117–18; RCHME, City of York, v, 93; Rees Jones, ‘Property, Tenure and Rents’, ii:1–20.

(62) See pp. 151, 176–9, 271–2.

(63) See pp. 94–5, 99–100.

(64) P. Ottaway, Roman York (2nd edn, Stroud, 2004),117.

(65) Rees Jones, ‘Property, Tenure and Rents’, ii:46. The directness of this early medieval ‘short cut’ was even more apparent before the creation of a triangular open space in the middle of Blake Street by the demolition of buildings neighbouring the Assembly Rooms in 1734–6: Drake, Eboracum, Appendix, lix, lxi (plan)). This triangular space was not a feature of the medieval street plan as has sometimes been suggested: A. Raine, Mediaeval York: A Topographical Survey based on Original Sources (London, 1955). 116; J. H. Harvey, York (London, 1975), 9.

(66) Tweddle, Moulden, and Logan (eds), Anglian York, 152.

(67) See p. 95.

(68) See pp. 49, 98.

(69) TNA, E 135/25/1: Lands, etc. held in frankalmoign in c.1228.

(70) Tweddle, Moulden, and Logan, Anglian York, 164–7; R. A. Hall, ‘The Topography of Anglo-Scandinavian York’, in R. A. Hall (ed.), Viking Age York and the North, Council for British Archaeology Research Report, 27 (London, 1978), 32.

(71) Phillips and Heywood, Excavations at York Minster, ed. Carver, i:177–95.

(72) G. Andrews, ‘Archaeology in York: An Assessment’, in Addyman and Black (eds), Archaeological Papers from York, 199–200; Tweddle, Moulden, and Logan, Anglian York,151–76.

(73) G. Dean, ‘Urban Neighbourhoods: Spatial and Social Development in York, c.600–1600’, Unpublished PhD thesis (University of York, 2012).

(74) Andrews, ‘Archaeology in York’, 201, 203, nos. 25, 29; Wenham, ‘Excavations in Low Petergate’, 65–78; Hall, ‘Topography of Anglo-Scandinavian York’, in Hall (ed.), Viking Age York and the North, 34. Recent excavations in Low Petergate near Holy Trinity did not reach deposits associated with periods earlier than the thirteenth century. B. Reeves, 62–68 Low Petergate, York, AY, Web ser., 7 (2006), www.iadb.co.uk/ayw7/index.htm

(75) ‘The module used in laying out properties in several districts and streets outside the Roman fortress was apparently the widely used customary perch of 18 feet (c.5.49 metres), including those Coppergate and Skeldergate plots which can be traced back archaeologically to the tenth century, and plots in Micklegate and elsewhere. Within the fortress, however, the preferred module was the perch of 16 feet 6 inches (c.5.03 metres): an analysis of the entire length of Stonegate and Minster Gates shows this very clearly, with almost every property’s street frontage measuring some multiple or fraction of the statute perch.’ (P. Ottaway, unpublished paper, with permission.) Title deeds also refer to the use of the perch of 16 feet within the fortress area: Charters of the York Vicars Choral, ed. Tringham, I:223; Rees Jones, ‘Property, Tenure and Rents’, ii:122.

(76) M. Biddle, ‘Towns’, in D. M. Wilson (ed.), The Archaeology of Anglo-Saxon England (London, 1976, repr. Cambridge, 1981), 106–9; D. M. Palliser, T. R. Slater, and E. P. Dennison, ‘The Topography of Towns, 600–1300’, in CUHB, i:153–86.

(77) The incomplete list of Husgabel rents from c.1284 does not include material relating to these districts: Palliser, ‘York’s Earliest Administrative Record’). There are several references surviving to the payment of Husgabel rents to the king from the streets of Coppergate, Ousegate, southern Aldwark, St Andrewgate, Barkergate, Jubbergate, and Coney Street in thirteenth-century charters: BL, Cotton MS Nero D III, fos. 75, 79, 105, 107, 125, 147, 168–71, 194; Yorkshire Deeds, vi:183; Yorkshire Deeds, vii:196; Charters of the Vicars Choral, ed. Tringham, i: 5–6, 13–15, 32–5, 38, 253.

(78) See pp. xxii, 46.

(79) RCHME, City of York, i:12; Ramm, ‘A Case of Twelfth-Century Town Planning in York?’, 134; Andrews, ‘Archaeology in York’, 194, 200.

(80) By the fourteenth century it was the established processional route for the formal entry of royal visitors and the internal Corpus Christi processions.

(81) Blocked by the construction of the Carmelite Friary in the thirteenth century. Modern Stonebow was constructed in the 1960s.

(82) Much of the evidence is summarized in Tweddle, Moulden, and Logan, Anglian York, 177–80. To the churches identified there may be added the chapels of St Swithun, near Ousegate and later amalgamated into the parish of St Sampson, and the chapel of St Martin, later incorporated into the site of St Anthony’s Hall by Peaseholme Green, neither of which ever achieved parochial status, and the church of St Mary in Layerthorpe.

(83) Ottaway, Roman York, 12.

(84) R. A. Hall, ‘A Historiographical Introduction to Anglo-Scandinavian York’, in Hall et al. (eds), Aspects of Anglo-Scandinavian York, 293–304; A. J. Mainman and N. S. H. Rogers, ‘Craft and Economy in Anglo-Scandinavian York’, in Hall et al. (eds), Aspects of Anglo-Scandinavian York, 459–87; R. A. Hall, ‘The Topography of Anglo-Scandinavian York’, in Hall et al. (eds), Aspects of Anglo-Scandinavian York, 488–97.

(85) J. Schofield and A. Vince, Medieval Towns: The Archaeology of British Towns in their European Setting (London, 1994), 51.

(86) Hall, ‘The Topography of Anglo-Scandinavian York’, in Hall et al. (eds), Aspects of Anglo-Scandinavian York, 492.

(87) T. R. Slater, ‘English Medieval Towns with Composite Plans: Evidence from the Midlands’, in T. R. Slater (ed.), The Built Form of Western Cities: Essays for M. R. G. Conzen on the occasion of his Eightieth Birthday (Leicester, 1990), 60–82.

(88) Ottaway, unpublished paper.

(89) Ousegate was the name applied to the full length of road from Ouse Bridge to St Crux Church including modern Pavement: S. Rees Jones, ‘Historical Introduction’, in R. A. Hall and K. Hunter-Mann (eds), Medieval Urbanism in Coppergate: Refining a Townscape, AY, 10:6 (York, 2002), 689.

(90) Rees Jones, ‘Historical Introduction’, in Hall and Hunter-Mann (eds) Medieval Urbanism in Coppergate, 686–7.

(91) Keene, ‘London from the Post-Roman Period to 1300’, 201.

(92) D. M. Palliser, ‘Review Article: The “Minster Hypothesis”: A Case Study’, Early Medieval Europe, 5:2 (1996), 208.

(93) Palliser, ‘York’s West Bank’, 102–3, 105–7.

(94) See p. xxiv. Andrews, ‘Archaeology in York’, 201–2. ‘Littlegate’ can be identified with both St Martin’s Lane and Bishophill Senior from various descriptions of the location of the property of Bolton Priory: ‘Husgabel Roll’, no. 343; CPR 1313–17, 166; CPR 1560–63, 14; TNA, E 303/22/34; Chatsworth House, Hardwick MS 20, fos. 109–112. ‘Besingate’ can be identified with Lower Priory Street from an identification of an isolated property belonging to the vicars choral: YMA, VC 3/Vi 193/2; YCA, Acc 1, plan. For the continued use of Roman buildings, see Andrews, ‘Archaeology in York’, 200.

(95) P. Ottaway, ‘Colonia Eburacensis: A Review of Recent Work’, in Addyman and Black (eds), Archaeological Papers from York, 29.

(96) There is still frustratingly little archaeological evidence for the evolution and extent of fortifications in this area: Ottaway, ‘Colonia Eburacensis’, 28.

(97) R. K. Morris, ‘Alcuin, York and the Alma Sophia’, in L. A. S. Butler and R. K. Morris (eds), The Anglo-Saxon Church: Papers on History, Architecture and Archaeology in Honour of Dr. H. M. Taylor, Council for British Archaeology Research Report, 60 (London, 1986), 80–9; Palliser, ‘York’s West Bank’, 104–5; J. Blair, The Church in Anglo-Saxon Society (Oxford, 2005), 66–8.

(98) Wenham et al., St Mary Bishophill Junior and St Mary Castlegate, 85–9.

(99) H. E. Salter, Facsimiles of Early Charters in Oxford Muniment Rooms (Oxford, 1929), no. 56. This is a general confirmation, noting in particular the priory’s possession of the church of Leeds. It does not make any particular reference to other properties.

(100) ‘Rights and Laws’, in Rollason, Sources for York History, 211; Harvey, ‘Bishophill and the Church of York’, 380–1; Palliser, ‘Medieval Street Names of York’, 5; J. Moulden and D. Tweddle, Anglo-Scandinavian Settlement South-West of the Ouse, AY, 8:1 (London, 1986), 10.

(101) Christopher Norton dismisses the association with the Alma Sophia, but still argues for an association between the Minster and Christ Church: Norton, ‘Anglo-Saxon Cathedral at York’, 14–15 and personal comment. Blair, The Church in Anglo-Saxon Society, 66–8, 405.

(102) EYC, ix.

(103) Palliser, ‘York’s Earliest Administrative Record’, 87–91.

(104) Harvey, ‘Bishophill and the Church of York’, 390.

(105) Harvey bases his suggestion on the cognomen of the church which was known as Ecclesia Sanctae Mariae Vetus (St Mary the Old). However this cognomen is not recorded before 1252. Earlier references to the church describe it simply as the church of St Mary in Lounlithgate. The cognomen ‘Vetus’ is more likely to be derived from its proximity to the Old Baile (Vetus Ballia): Feet of Fines for the County of York, from 1246 to 1272, ed. J. Parker, YASRS, 82 (Leeds, 1932), 75; EYC, i, no. 208; Pedes Finium Ebor, regnante Johanne: A.D. MCXCIX—A.D. MCCXIV, ed. W. Brown, SS, 94 (Durham, 1897), 37; Raine, Medieval York, 234; P. M. Tillott, ‘The Parish Churches’, in VCH, City of  York, 366; Palliser, ‘York’s Earliest Administrative Record’, 89–91; BL, Cotton MS Nero D III, fo. 82.

(106) Palliser, ‘York’s Earliest Administrative Record’, 87–91. The list of husgabel rents due to the crown ‘Ultra Usam’ is not complete. For further references of payments of husgabel to the crown in North Street, Micklegate, Bishophill, and Besingate (Lower Priory Street) see: BL, Cotton MS Nero D III, fos. 82r–v, 151–2; BL, Egerton MS 2827, fo. 137; Bodl., MS Fairfax 7, fo. 10v; YMAH, York Merchant Adventurers’ Cartulary, fo. 112; Chartulary of Fountains Abbey, 1, 285–7.

(107) See pp. xxiv, 91–3.

(108) The more important references include: ‘Rights and Laws’, in Rollason, Sources for York History, 211; Register of Walter Gray, ed. Raine, 133, 184–5. Rees Jones, ‘Property, Tenure and Rents’, i:90–1. In 1276 this land was said to extend to 19 acres and paid husgabel to the prebend of Fridaythorpe, who was also in receipt of husgabel from properties here in c.1284. YMA, L2/1, pt. iv, fo. 45; Palliser, ‘York’s Earliest Administrative Record’, 86, nos. 48–81. Nineteen acres would correspond to the area of St Maurice’s parish north of Monkgate described in 1370: Raine, Medieval York, 278–9; Charters of the Vicars Choral, ed. Tringham, 182.

(109) Charters of the Vicars Choral, ed. Tringham, 13–15.J.Ryl., MSS 220–1, fos. 32–33; NYCRO, Clervaux Cartulary, fo. 96v; S. Rees Jones, ‘The Historical Background’, in J. M. Lilley, G. Stroud, D. R. Brothwell, and M. H. Williamson (eds), The Jewish Burial Ground at Jewbury, AY, 12:3 (London, 1994), 311–13.

(110) YMA, VC 3/Vi, 210–12; Charters of the Vicars Choral, ed. Tringham. 145-151;NYCRO, Clervaux Cartulary, fo. 98v; BL, Egerton MS 2147, fo. 21. The location of the medieval parish of St Mary Layerthorpe is suggested by the area of St Cuthbert’s parish to the east of the River Foss. St Mary’s was united with St Cuthbert’s in 1548 and the church demolished: P. M. Tillott and K. J. Allison, ‘The Boundaries of the City’, in VCH, City of York, 311–12, 379. The former position of St Mary’s is mapped in papers relating to the properties of the nineteenth-century Craven confectionery company: YCA, TC ‘3s’ 96/3, 778/3, 3457/3, 4221/3.

(111) Domesday Book, fo 298b. One arm of the fish-pool on the Foss extended into Tang Hall fields and Tang Hall beck: CPR 1272–81, 398; T. P. Cooper, York: The Story of its Walls, Bars and Castles (London, 1904), 67. The river Foss was partially dammed and a fish-pool created upstream of Foss Bridge during the construction of the new Norman castle in 1068–9.

(112) In c.1200 the archbishops confirmed some conveyances of land in the parish of All Saints and in c.1200 the archbishop was in dispute with Ralph Nowell over the ownership of All Saints Church in the Marsh: BL, Add. Ch. 10636, EYC, i:230. The church of St John Hungate was acquired at an early date, before 1194, by the common fund of the chapter of York Minster HCY, iii:95. Other parish churches acquired by that fund had once belonged to the archbishops, see p. 149.

(114) Rollason, Sources for York History, 211, 225; Domesday Book, fo. 298a; Dickens, ‘The “Shire” and Privileges of the Archbishop in 11th Century York’, 133, 137–41; A. G. Dickens, ‘York before the Norman Conquest’, in VCH, City of  York, 20.

(115) Properties in Fishergate paid husgabel to the crown and are listed in the husgabel roll of 1284: Palliser, ‘York’s Earliest Administrative Record’, 86–7, nos. 82–142. The head of the membrane on which these properties are listed is missing and there is no heading. Nevertheless, the large number of these properties that were held from the priories of Drax, St Andrew, York, and Holy Trinity, York, suggest that they must be in Fishergate, since this was the only district where those three priories all held property together, and this is further corroborated from the evidence of charters. By contrast, Palliser suggests that the properties listed on this membrane lay to the west of the Ouse, on the grounds of the heading which follows them: ‘Adhuc de tenentibus de medietate de domino Rege ultra Usam in Civitate Eboracense’. This describes the properties listed from no. 143 onward, but the inclusion of the term ‘adhuc’ may more clearly relate to the mediety of the crown than to ‘beyond the Ouse’. For further references to the crown fee in Walmgate and Fishergate, see Cartularium Abbathiæ de Whiteby, ed. J. C. Atkinson, SS, 69 & 72, 2 vols (Durham, 1879–81), i:94, 203, 713; J.Ryl., MSS 220–1, fos. 37, 46.

(116) See p. xxv; Domesday Book 298b.

(117) Tillott, ‘Parish Churches’, 380; YMAH, York Merchant Adventurers’ Cartulary, fos. 21, 40v; Palliser, ‘York’s Earliest Administrative Record’, 82.

(118) ‘Rights and Laws’, 211; Domesday Book, fo. 298b.

(119) See p. xxii; St Lawrence’s church was confirmed to the chapter in 1194 together with other churches which might once have belonged to the archbishop: HCY, iii:95. The parish of St Lawrence included half the village and fields of Heslington which formed part of the endowments of the Minster prebend of Heslington: VCH, East Riding, 3, 66.

(120) Bodl., MS Fairfax 7, fo. 10.

(121) Harvey, ‘Bishophill and the Church of York’, 378–81, 383–4, including map. Some of these lands might have formed part of a berewick of the archbishop’s manor at Sherburn (from which they were later administered), described as 15 carucates near the city under the entry for Sherburn-in-Elmet in Domesday: Domesday Book, fo. 302c. Sherburn was a late acquisition of the archbishops.

(122) Register of  Walter Gray, ed. Raine, 232; BL, Lansdowne MS 402, fos. 101, 102v; BL, Claudius B III, fo. 41v; YMA, L2/1, pt. ii, fos. 46v, 89, 89v; YMF, ii:138; NYCRO, Clervaux Cartulary, fo. 108v.

(123) ‘Rights and Laws’, 211; ‘Customs of York Minster’, 225; Harvey, ‘Bishophill and the Church of York’, 392.

(124) See p. xxiv. Archbishops retained some authority over the Old Baile. They attempted to protect it from incursions by the citizens, and were held responsible for its maintenance by the city authorities, who claimed that it was ‘outside the ditches of the city’: RCHME, City of  York, ii:87.

(125) Archaeological excavations at the Old Baile found little trace of pre-Conquest occupation and may indicate that the Baile area lay outside the defences of the city at that date: P. V. Addyman and J. Priestley, ‘Baile Hill, York’, Archaeological Journal, 134 (1977), 126.

(126) These included his manors at Holgate, Acomb, Poppleton, and Middlethorpe, which were later divided between the archbishop’s estate administered from Sherburn-in-Elmet and the capitular estates of the liberty of St Peter: Harvey, ‘Bishophill’, 388, 393.

(127) The attachment of such large extramural parishes to intramural parishes is a well-recognized indicator of early Minster foundation.

(128) EYC, i:267; C. Norton, ‘The Buildings of St Mary’s Abbey, York and their Destruction’, Antiquaries Journal, 74 (1994), 280–1; J. E. Burton, The Monastic Order in Yorkshire, 1069–1215, Cambridge Studies in Medieval Life and Thought, 4th ser., 40 (Cambridge, 1999), 41.

(129) Domesday Book, fo. 298 b, c. They were the villages of Osbaldwick, Murton, Stockton, Sandburn, Heworth, (Gate) Fulford, Clifton, Rawcliffe, Overton, Skelton, Mortun, and Wigginton, and all lie east of the Ouse. See p. xxv.

(130) The itineraries of the late Saxon kings primarily focused on the kingdom of Wessex, and to a lesser extent Mercia. Athelstan was in York in 934, and Eadred stayed at Tanshelf in 947, Ethelred was in York in c.1014: D. Hill, An Atlas of Anglo-Saxon England (Oxford 2002), 84–91.

(131) Domesday Book, fo. 298 b, c.

(132) G. R. J. Jones, ‘Multiple Estates and Early Settlement’, in P. H. Sawyer (ed.), English Medieval Settlement (London, 1979), 9–34; D. M. Palliser, ‘An Introduction to the Yorkshire Domesday’, in A. Williams and G. H. Martin (eds), The Yorkshire Domesday, 3 vols (London, 1992), i: 30.

(133) The Rolls of the Justices in Eyre, being the rolls of Pleas and Assizes for Yorkshire in 3 Henry III (1218–19), ed. D. M. Stenton, SS, 56 (London, 1937), 392.

(134) M. Biddle and D. Keene, ‘Winchester in the Eleventh and Twelfth Centuries’, in Biddle (ed.), Winchester in the Early Middle Ages, 257; M. Biddle and D. Keene, ‘General Survey and Conclusions’, in Biddle (ed.), Winchester in the Early Middle Ages, 465–6; Hill, Atlas of Anglo-Saxon England, 85.

(135) S. Keynes, ‘Cnut’s Earls’, in A. R. Rumble (ed.), The Reign of Cnut: King of England, Denmark and Norway (London, 1994), 57–8, 66.

(137) Domesday Book, fo. 298b. It is possible that the husgabel rents in the earl’s fee were paid to the earl, but after 1086 reverted to the crown, as in so many other county towns where the earl’s penny reverted to the king after the Conquest. By the thirteenth century some estates that had possibly belonged to the earl in both Bootham and extramural Fishergate owed husgabel to the crown: Palliser, ‘York’s Earliest Administrative Record’, 85 (no. 33), 87 (nos. 115–42).

(138) P. Dalton, Conquest, Anarchy and Lordship: Yorkshire, 1066–1154, Cambridge Studies in Medieval Life and Thought, 4th ser., 27 (Cambridge, 1994), 66–7; for the abbey’s estates see pp. 158–60.

(139) Rollason, Gore, and Fellows-Jensen, Sources for York History to AD 1100, 175.

(140) ‘ecclesiam Sancti Olavi in qua capud abbatie in honorem Sancte Marie melius constitutum est et burgum in quo ecclesia sita est a Galmou versus Cliftonam et versus aquam.EYC, i:265, 267n. This burgh was given for the new foundation of St Mary’s Abbey in c.1086. This Latin charter is probably the origin of the belief of the eighteenth-century historian, Francis Drake, that this area was once known as the earlsborough: Drake, Eboracum, 579. For a discussion of this site see Tillott, ‘Parish Churches’, 397; RCHME, City of  York, ii:9; Burton, The Monastic Order in Yorkshire, 40; Norton, ‘Buildings of St Mary’s Abbey’, 280–2.

(141) See p. 178.

(142) Palliser, ‘Medieval Street Names of York’, 3.

(143) Domesday Book, fos. 298 b, c; 313a, b.

(144) The king eventually compensated the archbishop with a church from his own fee in Fishergate.

(145) YMA, L2/1, fos. 43–44v. Ulf also gave land to the Minster in Goodramgate, where again it was on the boundary between land belonging to the archbishop’s fee and land belonging to the crown fee: Rees Jones, ‘Short History of the Vicars Choral’, 385, 389.

(146) For the shared cultivation of these common fields between different parishes see pp. 47 n. 119, 78–9. The name Northcroft implies that its position was imagined in relation to the Minster and the walled city to its south.

(147) VCH, East Riding, iii:29–36. The authors of the VCH suggest that a prominent hill on the earl’s estate in Fulford was known as Siward hill, or howe, by 1546, rather than the hill in Heslington, but there is clear later medieval evidence to the contrary: see following note.

(148) VCH, East Riding, iii:66–74. The name Siward Howe applied to a hill in Heslington is said, by the authors of the VCH, to be a misnomer of modern origin. However, there are several medieval references. In 1189 × 1239 a charter describing 4 acres of land in Walmgate near the church of St Edward mentions Siwardhow (J.Ryl., MSS 220–1, fo 4v). There is a clear reference to the ditch of ‘Suwerd Howe’ as the rear boundary for two selions, or fields, belonging to St Nicholas Hospital outside Walmgate Bar in 1401, and another reference to the hospital acquiring what were probably the same fields described as near ‘Suardeholm Mylne’ by 1399: CPR 1396–99, 574; CPR 1399–1401, 426.

(149) It is notable that, even after they passed to Count Alan, many of these rural manors near the city were managed directly as part of the count’s estate and were not sublet to knightly followers of the count: Dalton, Conquest, Anarchy and Lordship, 40, 116.

(150) B. Dickins, ‘The Cult of St Olave in the British Isles’, Saga-Book of the Viking Society, 12 (1945), 53–80; B. T. Hudson, ‘Cnut and the Scottish Kings’, EHR, 107:423 (1992), 350–60.

(151) M. Biddle, ‘Capital at Winchester’, in E. Roesdahl et al. (eds), The Vikings in England and their Danish Homeland (London, 1981), 165–70.

(152) See n. 147–8 above.

(153) R. Fleming, Kings and Lords in Conquest England, Cambridge Studies in Medieval Life and Thought, 4th ser., 15 (Cambridge, 1991), 49, 55, 58; R. A. Fletcher, Bloodfeud: Murder and Revenge in Anglo-Saxon England (London, 2002), 146–9.

(154) R. B. Pugh, ‘Prisons and Gallows’ in VCH, City of  York, 491–7.

(155) EYC, i:215.

(156) See p. 97.

(157) See pp. 63–4.

(158) For a more detailed discussion of the pre-Conquest development of York’s suburbs, see pp. 76–82.

(159) Dyer, Lords and Peasants, 11, 25–6, 32; Clarke and Dyer, ‘Anglo-Saxon and Early Norman Worcester’, 27–30; Brooks, Early History of the Church of Canterbury, 23; P. Taylor, ‘Foundations and Endowment: St Paul’s and the English Kingdoms, 604–1087’, in D. Keene, A. Burns, and A. Saint (eds), St Paul’s: The Cathedral Church of London 604–2004 (New Haven, 2004), 5–16.

(160) P. H. Sawyer, ‘Kings and Merchants’, in P. H. Sawyer and I. N. Wood (eds), Early Medieval Kingship (Leeds, 1977), 139–58.

(161) N. Baker and R. Holt, ‘The Origins of Urban Parish Boundaries’, in T. R. Slater and G. Rosser (eds), The Church in the Medieval Town (Aldershot, 1998), 209–35.

(162) N. Baker and R. Holt, ‘The City of Worcester in the Tenth Century’, in N. Brooks and C. Cubitt (eds), St Oswald of Worcester: Life and Influence (Leicester, 1996), 130–1.

(163) 884–901: ‘At the request of Bishop Waerfirth, their friend, Ealdorman Ethelred and Aethelflaed ordered the borough of Worcester to be built for the protection of all the people … and they now make it known, with the witness of God, in this Charter, that they will grant to god and St Peter, and to the Lord of that Church, half of all the rights which belong to their lordship whether in the market or the street, both within the fortifications and outside … except that the wagon-shilling and load-penny at Droitwich go to the King as they have always done. Otherwise, land-rent, the fine for fighting, or theft, or dishonest trading, and the contribution to the borough wall and all the (fines for) offences which admit compensation, are to belong half to the Lord of the Church.’

(164) Taylor, ‘Bishop of London’s City Soke’, 174–82.

(165) A. Vince, ‘The Aldwych: Mid-Saxon London Discovered?’, Current Archaeology, 93 (1984), 310–12.

(166) Domesday Book, fo. 298 b, c. All these villages lay largely outside the liberty of the later medieval city, although the citizen’s rights of common and pasturage extended over considerable areas of both these townships and others to the west of the Ouse in the Ainsty: Tillott and Allison, ‘Boundaries of the City’, 311–18.

(167) Dickens, ‘York before the Norman Conquest’, 20.

(168) P. Salway, Roman Britain (Oxford, 1981), 583.

(169) The poly-focal character of Anglo-Saxon urban settlement has been argued from a number of case studies, including Winchester and Southampton, London, and Norwich: Biddle, ‘Towns’, 114–15; Vince, ‘The Aldwych: Mid-Saxon London Discovered?’, 310–12; J. Campbell, ‘Norwich’, in M. D. Lobel (ed.), The Atlas of Historic Towns: Bristol, Cambridge, Coventry, Norwich, British Atlas of Historic Towns, 2 (London, 1975), 3.

(170) J. Naylor, ‘York and Its Region in the Eighth and Ninth Centuries AD: An Archaeological Study’, Oxford Journal of Archaeology, 20:1 (2001), 79–100.

(171) Andrews, ‘Archaeology in York’, 199–200, nos. 45, 70; R. L. Kemp, ‘Pit your “wics” or how to excavate Anglian York’, Interim, 11:3 (1986), 8–16; R. J. F. Jones, ‘The Cemeteries of Roman York’, in Addyman and Black (eds), Archaeological Papers from York, 34; R. L. Kemp, Anglian Settlement at 46–54 Fishergate, York, AY, 7:1 (1996), 17–54, 66–7.

(172) Baker and Holt, ‘Worcester in the Tenth Century’, 144–5; Rollason, Gore, and Fellows-Jensen, Sources for York History to AD 1100, 171–2.

(173) ‘In other words, Wulfstan went from preaching about the standards demanded of a Christian society to organizing them by law. Such is the context of perhaps his most remarkable work, the semi-homiletic/semi-legislative programme called the Institutes of Polity. “Estates literature” in a familiar sub-Carolingian mode, it is also shot through with the intensity of Wulfstan’s moral purpose. It exists in evolving recensions, the trend as ever being towards a more expansive and moralistic treatment of the theme of Christian citizenship’, P. Wormald, ‘Wulfstan (d.1023)’, ODNB (online edn, Oxford, 2004), www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/30098

(174) Campbell, ‘Power and Authority’, 51–78; J. Campbell, ‘Hundreds and Leets: A Survey with Suggestions’, in C. Harper-Bill (ed.), Medieval East Anglia (Woodbridge, 2005), 153–67.