A Lost English County

A Lost English County

Winchcombeshire in the Tenth and Eleventh Centuries

Julian Whybra


Boydell Press



Julian Whybra's research into the history and boundaries of the vanished shire uncovers important evidence relating to the early organisation of land tenure in one of the most turbulent periods in the history of England.
The history of Winchcombeshire is no obscure tale of a lost shire: the story of its creation, development and demise is intricately interwoven with the story of the development of England prior to the Norman Conquest and the fabric of government which rules our lives to this day. Winchcombeshire comprised what is now the Cotswold area of Gloucestershire and Worcestershire, and its centre was at Winchcombe. A scribe's tantalising marginal addition to the heading of an early-11th-century charter started Julian Whybra's quest for the history and boundaries of the vanished shire, and his research has uncovered important evidence relating to early organisation of land tenure in one of the most turbulent periods in the history of England, dating from the reconquest of England from the Vikings in the early 10th century, through the monastic reform movement that divided England's rulers in the mid-10th century, to the Danish wars under Aethelred the unready in the early years of the 11th century.

JULIAN WHYBRA studied at the universities of East Anglia and Cambridge, where he was a Fellow of Girton College and undertook much of the work on which this book is based.


February 1990
40 line illustrations
146 pages
23.4x15.6 cm
Studies in Anglo-Saxon History
ISBN: 9780851155005
Format: Hardback
Boydell Press
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Formally an attempt to establish the nature and origin of the county of Winchcombeshire...amalgamated with Gloucestershire in 1017... The meat of it is a different matter, and consists of thirty-six tables and thirty-six maps which set out the detailed information about Winchcombeshire and its boundaries, including those of Gloucestershire and the Oswaldslaw, and the location of Bishop Oswald's land grants and leases. This is all invaluable... This book will undoubtedly prove itself to be both useful and important. ENGLISH HISTORICAL REVIEW (R.H.C Davis)

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