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ENGLAND at the time of the Norman Conquest probably had two million inhabitants or less, almost all of them living on the land, tilling the soil and keeping beasts.

Their villages and their farms, their occupations and their social customs, varied widely from one part of the country to the other; one cannot generalize from the state of-Norfolk to the state of Yorkshire or even from that of Kent to that of Sussex, without making serious mistakes.

But on the whole the settlements of that time, and the customs belonging to them, fall into two main types: scattered and nucleated villages.

In the nucleated village all the houses, farm buildings, etc., are grouped round one or two streets, and are surrounded by the fields belonging to the village, around which in turn there stretches the waste or uncultivated land.

The scattered village, on the other hand, is really not a village at all, but a loose collection of scattered farmsteads or hamlets, each with its own fields.

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Our Fiscal Roots

If the political history of the Anglo-Saxon period is obscure, its economic history is doubly so. We do not know what happened to the Britons; how far they were driven out, how far slaughtered, how far enslaved. Perhaps some sort of town life still went on in London and the other cities of the Roman era; perhaps they were, for a time, all deserted. We do not know. But on the whole the break seems to be a clear one. The invaders appear to have avoided the settlements of the Britons and to have set up their dwellings on new sites; outside the far west, practically all English place-names are Anglo-Saxon,... see: Our Fiscal Roots

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