history and maps

Cottingham - name, size and location

Ancient and Roman Britain

Angles, Saxons and Vikings 

Anglo Saxon Chronicle

Domesday Book

The Hundreds

Rockingham Forest

Rockingham Castle

landowners & copyholders

The Church, tithes and glebe

Kelly's Directories a


Medieval England

In the 11th Century, 17% of the land in England was owned by the king and his family and 26% was owned by bishops and abbots. The majority of these major landowners were French, having been given land, position and title by the Norman king, William the Conqueror. The rest (54%) of the land was owned by 190 under tenants or 'tenants in chief' who leased land from the Norman lords in return for military services or, less commonly, money. 

The major landowners, and sometimes the under tenants, became 'Lords of the Manor' for villages around the country. The lord governed the local community and heard minor offences at the 'manorial court'. Most villagers were tenants and leaseholders, renting a property, rather than freeholders (ie. owners of a house by inheritance). The villagers would have farmed the lord's land and paid rent, originally in the form of produce. The lord was assisted by an appointed steward who organised the farmworkers, kept records of the estate's money and presided over the manorial court when the lord was away. Reporting to the steward was a bailiff, a freeholder of land who allotted jobs to the peasants.

Domesday Survey


At the time of the Domesday survey, Northamptonshire was split into 29 administrative districts called 'Hundreds'. Cotingeham lay within the Stoke hundred, and was owned by Peterborough Abbey. Sometime between 1135 and 1154 the Abbey lost control of Cottingham but, according the the Anglo Saxon Chronicle, the Abbey regained ownership in 1197.


Lord of the Manor (Domesday Survey)


King William I

Brigstock, Corby, Desborough (1/2 virgate), Gretton, Rockingham, Rothwell, Stoke Albany

Peterborough Abbey

Cottingham, Kettering

Count Robert of Mortain

King William's half brother

Little Bowden, East Carlton, Desborough (1 virgate), Dingley (1 & 1/3 hides), Pipewell

Robert de Tosny

Ashley (4 hides), Desborough (1/2 hide), Dingley (1 hide), Wilbarston

Robert de Bucy

Ashley  (2/3 hide), Dingley (2/3 hide)

Countess Judith

Daughter of King William's half sister Adelaide

Ashley (1/3 hide), Dingley (1/3 hide), Oakley

Bishop of Lincoln


William de Peverell

Illegitimate son of King William

Desborough (1 hide & 1 virgate)



Red - Manors in exclusive ownership

Green - majority landholder where manor was owned by more than one person


16th Century

Copyholders (1614 to Present)

Enclosure (1813)