Medieval Peasant Life

Tbis will be a series of articles about our research into Milton Abbas, or Middleton, during the first half of the 14th century and before the Black Death.

See also The Great Famine and Pestilence of 1315 – 1322

See also Medieval Peasant life in Milton Abbas – house and home

It is surprising to us now how important Milton Abbas was to the economy of Dorset. As a market town, with two grants of 3 day fairs it was a hub of trade in the centre of Dorset. With vast stocks of sheep which were vital to the English economy at the time, and local access to the dairy farms of the Blackmore Vale renowned for cheese and the meadows of the Frome and Piddle valleys for pasture and meadow, together with fast draining chalk hillsides for arable, this was good place for trade.

This is our analysis of the Lay Subsidy Roll of 1332 (the earlier rolls are damaged and incomplete for analysis). Thanks to Steve Griffin for the mapping.

This shows that the market town of Milton Abbas had the third largest number of tax payers with 105, in Dorset, behind Canford Magna (120) and Kingston Lacy (115)

This shows that Milton Abbas was the fourth largest tax payer in Dorset behind Shaftesbury, Canford Magna and Gillingham.

Copyright Bryan Phillips May 2023