Like most other noblemen in Viking Age England, Eorl Godwin lives in a large hall at the centre of a manorial complex. In addition to the hall there are many other buildings, such as storehouses, guest houses, workshops, stables, servants' houses, a bake-house or kitchen and a stone built chapel. There are also enclosures for animals, grain stores and a training area for his fyrdsmen.
Drengham is the centre of Eorl Godwin's power, and it is from here that he carries out his many duties to the king. As a leader in war he is responsible for the raising, equipping and training of the local fyrd (army) which is drawn from among the lesser nobles and upper ranks of the peasantry in the area. He oversees the building and maintenance of roads, bridges and fortifications. He administers the king's laws and enforces the king's justice, and makes sure that the King's and Church's taxes are paid on time. The organisation of England into shires, later counties and the smaller administrative zones called 'hundreds', enabled the King via the Thegns to run the country very efficiently. The great wealth of Anglo-Saxon Britain was a strong factor that encouraged the Vikings to raid and invade these shores.
When not carrying out these duties, Godwin probably amused himself by hunting in the wilds of Swinwudu, or was entertained in his hall by Ðorvald ðe Scop. On feast days or visits from other nobles he may have given a feast, or arranged some other entertainment. On occasion, the King may even have stayed at his manor, whilst he was touring the area. It was one of the ways the King kept up to date with issues in the shires.
The Domesday book for your local area would have had several manors recorded in it. With a modern translation and a good O.S. map of your locality; it is still possible to trace the bounds of these manorial complexes, and work out what rents and taxes were due for that and other households in 1086 AD.
Drengham only exists on the web - however, we are currently constructing our own real estate of Wychurst in Kent, England... follow the link for more details.
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