The photograph above
shows the Cottingham and Middleton Copyholders gathering for their annual dinner
in the early 1900s. The photo was taken behind the old Exeter Arms pub in
Middleton, which half way down Main Street.
Well into the 20th century legal
documents recorded villagers occupying their homes as 'copyhold or customary
tenants of the manor of Cottingham' and, as
recently as 1933, it was the custom for the names of all the Copyholders to be
called out in the main street, for all to hear!
Cottingham still has Copyholders,
with the title having been passed down through families, although the title is more honorary nowadays. The
Copyholders own 'New Haw'
field, which is located at the junction of the A427 and A6003 (see
17th Century map).