Ancient History

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Drawing of Little Cassiobury - Drawn by Rev. J Brown when it was in use as the local Herts County Education Office

3 Frenchmen and 36 villagers with 8 smallholders have 15 ploughs; a further 1 possible. A further 3 smallholders; 2 slaves. 4 mills at 26s 8d; meadow for 22 ploughs; pasture for the livestock; woodland, 1000 pigs.

Total value £28; when acquired £24; before 1066 £30. St. Albans held and holds this manor in lordship.

in Aldenham Geoffrey of Bec holds 1 hide under the Abbot, Land for 1 plough, but the plough is missing.

2 cottagers. woodland, 100 pigs.

The value is and was 12s; before 1066, 20s.

Black, St. Albans’ man, held this land; he could not sell.

Quotation from  Cassiobury Park page in Wikepedia:-

" Caesegsho and Cashio are earlier names for the area or for the hamlet that existed in the area. The name "Caegesho" referred to a larger area of land granted by Offa to the Abbey of St Albans in 793. "Caeg" (Old English cæg) may have been a man's name, while Old English ho means "a spur of land" (see Hoo). It was spelled "Caissou" or "Chaissou" in the 11th century and gradually evolved into "Cassio". The suffix "-bury" occurs in many English place names. It comes from the Old English word for a fortified place, burh, whose dative, byrig, means "by the fort", or "by the manor".

Using the zoom facilities of your browser will enable you to see the locations of the 8 Manors within Albanstow -Later called Cashio number 7 is the manor of Cassio.

The 8 Manors of Cashio

1 St. Paul's Walden

2 Sandridge

3 St. Albans

4 Hanstead (House)

5 Shenley

6 Aldenham

7 Cassio

8 Rickmansworth

Information below is from the Phillmore Domesday Book (ed. John Morris) (Hertfordshire) 1976; ISBN 0 85033 137 4).

Its map (drawn by Jim Hardy) of the county shows the 1086 boundaries of the hundreds where Cashio Hundred is identified with a capital C.

Below are the 11th century Latin and translated texts for Cassio manor from the Phillmore Domesday Book (Hertfordshire). While the units of measurement are archaic they can be usefully translated. For example:-


  •     1 hide is 120 acres (approx) so Cassio manor is 2400 acres of which only 120 acres (1 hide) is not owned by the Abbot of St Albans (Note:-where the text says repeatedly The Abbot holds “….” Himself “. Cassio was only a small part of the lands owned by the Abbey. Albanstou extended North to west to
  •     Of this there is considerable amount of arable land (e.g. “meadow for 22 ploughs”).
  •     4 mills in Cassio manor suggests that there were 4 hamlets in the manor
  •     Woodland size is shown by the numbers of pigs it could provide forage for. I.e. Pigs would have been turned loose to forage (fatten up) in the woods during the Autumn (on acorns, nuts etc ...)

In CASHIO HundredAlbanstow”

Origins of the name CASSIO

Cassio (as with many historic names spelling varies) in many people’s minds is Cassiobury, but Cassio (with its several old spellings) is the root of the names of both a much larger area, Cashio Hundred (called Albanstou in the “Domesday Book”), and a manor called Cassio within it.

Modern Cassiobury is the area at the northern end of Watford High Street. Its name is derived from the ancient names for the land and the people who once lived there. However its exact location, in ancient times is unclear. A Roman track way is thought to have passed through it.

The Cassi were a tribe existing at the same time as the Iceni (Boudicia's tribe) who lived in what is now known as Buckinghamshire, Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire.

The map the top right corner of the gallery below “A Mapp of Hartfordshire” by Richard Blome, 1673 contains the name TRINOBANTES” (also spelled Trinoventes) who the Encyclopeadea Britannica identifies as their tribe, who, under their leader Cassivellaunus (also spelled Cassivelaunus), waged a guerilla war against the Romans in the first century BC.


The land in the Watford area rises from south to the north, and is stony in its north, with the rivers Gade and Colne passing through. So there was a supply of water, and farming would have tended more towards being arable to the South.

Topography, Origins of Cassio, and the Domesday Book


Gallery of extracts from the Domesday book, and Maps from 16th to the 19th century

Pages from the Philmore series Domesday Book for Cashio Back To Top

The Abbot holds Rickmansworth himself. It answers for 15 hides. Land for 20 ploughs. In lordship 5 hides; 3 ploughs there; a further 2 possible.

4 Frenchmen and 22 villagers with 9 smallholders have 14 ploughs; a further 1 possible. 5 cottagers; 5 slaves. 1 mill at 5s 4d; meadow for 4 ploughs; from fish, 4s; pasture for the livestock; woodland, 1200 pigs

Total value £20 10s; when acquired £12; before 1066 £20. St. Albans held and holds this, manor in lordship.

The Abbot holds Cassio himself. It answers for 20 hides. Abbot holds 19 of them. Land for 22 ploughs. In lordship 6 hides; 5 ploughs there; a sixth possible.