THE STORY OF THE MANOR
TO THE DATE OF THE CUSTUMAL
In order fully to understand the course of events in the Manor of Minchinhampton during the Middle Ages and the position of the manor among the surrounding manors at the time when the Custumal was drawn up, it is necessary to get back to the earliest point at which history Touches it. This is to be found in the 8th century charter cs, 164) whereby King Aethelbald gave to the Church in Worcester three cassates of woodland in the place ' called ;n the ancient dialect Uuducestre'J. This charter names, as marking the bounds of the granted area, north— Roddanbeorg ; east—Smiececumb ; south—Sengedleah, Heardanleah, Neglesleah Minor, the whole of Uuidancumb in Carlesleah ; west-Haeslburg, Haboccumb ; and northeast (in aquilone) Jemythleah.
The two points in this series that can be identified without question, Rodborough and Senkley, are sufficient to establish the fact that the boundaries ranged along the hill-tops, and not, as in later days they were apt to do, along the water-courses. They lead one to suppose that when a combe is named the boundary works round the head of it and not down it or under it.
The date and the character of the grant have combined to suggest that this was one of those outpost gifts, marking the limits of their conquest before their hold upon the region had become firm, that warring chieftains were apt to devote to the church. It was assumed that not even an enemy would incur the risk of dispossessing a church. This, moreover, was one of those sites to which the symbolistic piety of the age easily attached a sacred meaning..... '
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