The Domesday Book

During the first seven months of 1086 a painstaking survey of England was carried out on William's orders. It was written in abbreviated Latin and Roman numerals. The entry for Santon Downham in the Domesday Book would look something like this-

Little Domesday Book-Translation Into English.

From page 1- heading

Lands of St. Edmund's. St. Edmund's held Downham as a manor; 3 carucates of land..Now Fredo [his manor in Santon Downham] holds (it). Always one smallholder. Then 5 slaves, now 3. Always 3 ploughs in lordship. Meadows, 5 acres; 1 fishery. 1 ox, 21 pigs; 900 sheep. 9 free men with 2 ½ carucates of land and 60 acres. 3 smallholders. Then 8 ploughs, now 4 ½ between them all. Meadows, 4 acres. These (free men) could grant and sell but the full jurisdiction, patronage and every customary due still belonged to St. (Edmund's). Value then 35 s; now the same. A church with 20 acres of land. Value of this manor, except for the free (men), then £8; now (£) 11.

It has one league in length and 8 furlongs in width;20d in tax. Others hold there.

From Part 2- heading

"Suffolk lands of St. Etheldreda. In Santon (Downham) a half freeman of Etheldreda's with jurisdiction; ½ carucate of land. 3 smallholders' Meadow 1 acre Always ½ plough. Value 5 s.