Norman Mitcham

ploughing with oxen

After 1066 the defeated Saxon landlords were dispossessed, to be replaced by Norman nobles. The Domesday survey of 1086 found a community of some 250 people living in two separately identified vills or hamlets, Mitcham and ‘Whitford’, or ‘Wicford’. Mitcham has been identified with the area surrounding the Upper Green and Whitford with the area surrounding the Lower Green. No woodland is recorded. By far the major part of the arable land would have been in the large open common fields. The common pasture and waste of the parish comprised unenclosed tracts of open grassland and scrub over which the villagers exercised various rights, including those of ‘turning out’ their livestock, and gathering fuel.