Domesday Book was compiled over a few months in 1086, and served as a survey of the people, the wealth and the lands of the whole of England for the Normans, the new rulers of the kingdom. It now allows historians to look back nearly 1000 years and attempt to reconstruct what England was once like. It was even consulted as recently as 1982 for legal precedent. Out of date before it was completed (land changed hands, and rent fluctuated, as it does today) it never-the-less details places that we still inhabit today.
The Book compared the wealth of a village or town before and after the invasion of 1066, and therefore makes frequent mention of King Edward the Confessor, who was king of England before the Norman Conquest - his brother-in-law, King Harold II, only ruled for a few months before losing England and his life to the Normans at the Battle of Hastings.
The various villages named POULTON in Domesday Book are detailed below:-
POULTON-le-Fylde in Lancashire. Part of the district of Amounderness, the hamlet of POLTUN was held by Earl Tosti.
POULTON-le-Sands in Lancashire. Part of the district of Halton, the hamlet of POLTUNE was held by Earl Tosti.
POULTON cum Spital in Cheshire. Part of the hundred of Willaston, the village of PONTONE was held by Osbern Fitztezzo. A free man, Gamal, held it during the reign of Edward. There was land for 4 ploughs. Osbern owned land enough for 1 plough and 2 slaves, and 1 retained servant and 1 villan and a priest and 4 cottagers with 1 plough among them. Worth 25 shillings both before and after the invasion.
POULTON in Pulford, Cheshire. Part of the Hundred of Warmundestrou, the village of PONTONE was held by Robert the butler for Earl Hugh. It was held by a free man, Edwin, in the reign of Edward. There was land for 5 ploughs. Earl Hugh owned land enough for 3 ploughs and 6 oxmen and an administrative officer and 3 cottagers with 2 ploughs. There were 8 acres of meadow. Worth 40 shillings before and £4 after the invasion.
POULTON in Awre, Gloucestershire. Part of the Hundred of Bledisoe, the manor of PONTUNE was held by Earl Harold. The manors of Pontone, Naas & Purton, all held by Earl Harold rendered £11 to the state.
POULTON near Cirencester, Gloucestershire. Part of the lands of Earl Roger. The village of POLTONE was held by Siward in the reign of Edward. There was land for 8 ploughs. Of this land Earl Roger owned 4 ploughs and 8 slaves. There were also 8 villans and 7 cottagers with 4 ploughs. There were 15 acres of meadow and pastures 3 furlongs long by 1 furlong broad. Worth £12 before and £16 after the invasion.
POULTON in Mildenhall, Wiltshire. Part of the land held by Humphrey de L'Isle. The village of POLTONE was held by Tovi during the reign of King Edward. There was land for 4 ploughs. Of this Humphrey owned 2 ploughs and 2 slaves and 2 villans and 7 cottagers with 1 plough. There was a mill rendering 15 shillings and 4 acres of meadow and 8 acres of woodland. Worth £8 both before and after the invasion.
POULTON in Kent. Part of the Hundred of Bewsbury, the hamlet of POLTONE was held by Herfrid for Hugh de Montfort. Wulfine had held it for King Edward. Its wealth was assessed as enough land to support 2 households, using 2 ploughs. There were 3 villans and a small church. Worth 40 shillings before, and 30 shillings after the invasion.
NOTE:- A Villan was a labourer of higher social status than a cottager (COTTAR in Domesday Book), but nevertheless not a free man under the feudal system of the day.