Bourne (Brone)

Of the 20 hides which Bourn was assessed before the Conquest, Ramsey Abbey owned, as a berewick of its estate in Longstowe, 1 hide, which had been given to it by Ethelgiva (died 985), wife of Ailwyn, Earldorman of East Anglia.

This was part of the estate given to the monks of Ramsey Abbey and was a berewick in 1086 and remained connected with it until the late 13th century. The Longstowe estate was held by the Abbey in demesne in 1066, when it was reckoned at 2 hides, but in 1086 it was occupied by a tenant, one Guy.

By 1086 two Knights were settled on the Ramsey Abbey land, which subsequently remained attached to the abbeys estate in Longstowe, being held in 1279 of William of Stowe, the abbeys tenant there. Under him it was much subdivided, there being five stages of under tenants, mostly small freeholders with a few acres each.

In 1279 many of the peasants had freedom of tenure. Of some 3,100 acres then recorded at Bourne only 460 acres were occupied by customary tenants. Thus Henry Chiney and his family held 76 acres in free soccage of the Abbess of Wilton, and Gilbert Mile 35 acres on the Ramsey fee. (Ref 25)