Medieval History Term of the Week: Virgate

[vur-git, -geyt]
Etymology: Medieval Latin virgata, from virga, a land measure, from Latin, rod

1) Standard tenant’s holding on many manors, but of a size that varied from manor to manor (usually from 20 to 30 acres) — Bennett, Judith M. Women in the Medieval English Countryside, 235

2) A quarter of a hide; often 20 or 30 acres — Wood, Michael. Domesday: A Search for the Roots of England, 214

3) Land unit theoretically sufficient to support a peasant family, varying between 18 and 32 acres — Gies, Frances and Joseph. Life in a Medieval Village, 246

*term definitions retrieved from Netserf’s Medieval Glossary (

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