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History of Turnham Malpas

The earliest recorded mention of the village of Turnham Malpas is in the Domesday Book, first published in 1086. This Book is a record of all the landowners and their possessions in the towns and villages in England, in the early years after the Norman invasion. The Book records that the main landowner in the district of Turnhamme Maelpass was Sir Guy Bernard de Templetonne. The name suggests he was a Norman knight come from France with William the Conquerer whose idea it was to catalogue the fine detail of the land he had invaded in 1066.


The Domesday Book mentions that the house Sir Guy owns in Turnhamme Maelpass is the largest in the area and that all the lands surrounding it, including Ha’penny Forester, Little Derehams and Derehams Magna, are owned by him. The records show that Sir Guy had forty head of cattle, thirty pigs, fifteen horses, a large herd of sheep, numerous chickens, geese and ducks, a large number of indoor servants, villeins and serfs who were bound by custom, rather than law, to their lord of the manor. Sir Guy gave his loyalty to King William I.

Almost three centuries pass before any matter worth recording happens in Turnham Malpas. In the year 1349 it is known that an itinerant traveller came to the village and slept under the Royal Oak Tree on the village Green. He washed his clothes in the pond, hung them out to dry on the Royal Oak, he stole food from the Inn and one night wrung the neck of one of the geese belonging to Sir Guy. He made a fire and cooked it for all the world to see right there on the Green.


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