Pakenham History : The History of Nether Hall

"The History of Nether Hall and the Various Owners "
A short history written by W.R. Rayner
with kind permission given by his daughter Gill Applegate to publish on
the Pakenham -Village web site.

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The village was thus named Pacca's Ham, i.e., the home of Pacca, a name which eventually became Pakenham, (pronounced locally with a long "a" sound.) The Anglo-Saxon family name later becomes "de Pakenham". Pacca's descendants continued to farm here until the Norman Conquest, 1066, by which time the village was an integral part of The Liberty of St. Edmunds, i.e., it was within the Lordship of the Abbot of St. Edmundsbury.

The Doomsday Survey of William I, 1086, states that "St. Edmunds held the Manor of Pakenham, which consisted of seven carrucates of land. (A carrucate = 100 acres, approximately, representing the land which could be worked by one plough team in a year.) On the Manor there were forty-four villans and twenty-three bordars, who worked most of their time upon the Lord's land, and partly on their own small strips which were distributed about the Manor. There were three plough teams, pulled by oxen, on the Manor, and the men possessed twenty-three plough teams among them. There were also six thralls, later nine, who were tied as serfs to the Manor to do all the menial tasks.

There were two water mills, later one, three rounceys (riding horses), forty-eight beasts, sixty-five hogs, one hundred and ninety sheep, and eight hives of bees to provide honey, the only sweetener used in those days. There were twenty-six acres of meadow. There were also thirty-one freemen, who held one bordar among them, and two carrucates of land. These possessed eleven plough teams and three acres of meadow, but they were tied to the Abbot with "sache and soche", i.e., taxes in kind and customs to the Abbey. It appears that only three of these freemen each held thirty acres of land, the normal holding of a freeman. These three could sell their land, but they were also tied to the Abbot by "sache and soche". Among them they owned eleven plough teams and three acres of meadow.

There is special mention of one more important freeman, who held one carrucate of land within the Manor of Pakenham. On this section of his land he had one plough team, five bordars and two thralls, and a winter mill. The Abbot had the right of "sache and soche" over him. This freeman got the Abbot's consent to lease a further half carrucate of land on condition that the whole of this land, where-so-ever it might be, should remain in the Abbot's possession after his death. In other words his heir could not inherit this land without the Abbot's consent.