History of Loughton - Norman Era

Norman Era

Following the Norman invasion, the Domesday Book, issued in 1087, gives two snapshots of life in the area, first as it was in 1066 under Edward the Confessor, and again in 1086 under William the Conqueror (here it is written as Lochintuna). Domesday assessed the taxability of every estate in the land, so is an extremely useful guide to the taxable population and their taxable resources. Loughton was fragmented into eight separate estates. Five were held by Waltham Abbey itself, including one they had annexed from a free man. Other landowners were Robert Gernon, Peter of Valognes (who had displaced a free Anglo-Saxon named Wulfric), and the king himself. There were a total of 88 heads of households across both Chigwell and Loughton. The land must have been well-wooded as it was said to be capable of supporting 1,870 pigs, a notional measure of the size of forest but a very large number all the same. 76 acres (310,000 m2) of meadows on the 10 estates of Chigwell and Loughton may well have consisted mainly of land beside the Roding, which was fertile but liable to seasonal flooding. Livestock comprised 28 cattle, 48 sheep, and 48 pigs, as well as 15 goats. There had been a water-mill at Chigwell in 1066, but this had been abandoned by 1086.

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