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 ••• History lesson...
An historical background - Hundreds

 

To recreate the feudal structure, we need a feudal landscape. Starting from the time of Alfred the Great (around 878 A.D.) the county system was established which remained in place until 1888.

The counties were further subdivided into hundreds (sometimes known as rapes, lathes or as wapentakes), which
also were largely unchanged throughout the entire period. The origin of the word "hundred" is unclear
- did it refer to a piece of land which comprised one hundred hides (a hide being approximately 120
acres; an acre is equal to approximately the size of 2 football pitches, 120x80 yards.)? Or did it refer to
the hundred moot, where one hundred of the men of the area would come together to discuss the affairs
of their part of the county?

In 1889 the subdivisions of the counties changed by the creation of urban and rural authorities.
Later still, Surrey was lobotomized by having the whole of the north east region amputated and put
into London. The rest of the county has reverted to local areas, similar to the old hundreds.

In Surrey there were 14 hundreds, which were geographically of similar size, particularly in the
south of the county. The exception is the Effingham hundred which some have called a
"half hundred". The hundreds nowadays have very different sizes of population. For example, the
Brixton Hundred now has a million people and 300 schools; the Wotton Hundred, by contrast, only
contains 17 schools.

Tandridge and Elmbridge have retained their ancient names, although the areas are slightly different;
Waverley in the south west covers roughly what used to be Farnham, Godalming and Blackheath.
Brixton has split up into Southwark, Lambeth, Wandsworth, Merton and parts of Kingston and Richmond.

Surrey Hundreds Map

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