Until the Normans established full control over the 34 english counties there were two main systems of land holding, administration and law:
Dane Law covered some northern and eastern counties of England. Anglo-Saxon law applied to the south and west. Devonshire and Hemyock Castle would have been subject to the Anglo-Saxon system.
Lands held by the church were administered differently, and sometimes more harshly - there were more slaves on the church lands.
In the Dane Law areas, there were generally more free land-owners who were not required to work on their lord's lands. Sometimes there were dual settlements - one zone where the feudal system applied, and another zone where there were more free land-owners.
The feudal system was usually applied more rigidly in the Anglo-Saxon areas.
Hemyock Castle, Hemyock, CULLOMPTON, Devon, EX15 3RJ, UK.
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