ASGARBY AND HOWELL: BOUGHTON
Boughton, is now represented by Boughton House, a farm which appears to stand on the site of the medieval manor house (Fig 3 ). The vill is not mentioned by name in Domesday Book, but it is clear from later records that its land was included in the bishop of Lincoln's sokeland of Sleaford which was identified as Howell (1), and it is likely that it was already in existence in 1086. The first explicit notice of the settlement, however, is not found until the late twelfth century, and subsequently it was a hamlet of Asgarby (2). In 1258 Peter de Bukeden held one tenth of a knight's fee there by the enfeoffment of St Hugh, but the holding was probably ministerial, and most of the land seems to have been held by the bishop in demesne throughout the Middle Ages (3). After the Dissolution the estate was acquired by Robert Carre of Sleaford, and it subsequently passed to the Bristol family (4). Its extent was probably much the same as that of Boughton Manor Farm in an estate terrier of 1860 (5).
Owing to the considerable amount of permanent pasture which still exists in the area, the site has changed little in appearance since aerial photographs were taken in the 1960s (Pl 1) (6). This survival has provided a rare opportunity in Lincolnshire to plot the upstanding as well as the more recently ploughed ridge and furrow around the settlement (Fig 4), and thereby determine the maximum extent of the hamlet. Occupying an area of approximately 200 by 250 metres, Boughton was always small. Shrinkage probably began in the early to mid fourteenth century, and desertion may have been all but complete by the sixteenth (7).
1. Lincs DB, 7/46; QCO MS 366, f,ix. In Domesday Book the bishop's land in Howell is assessed at five carucates and three bovates. In 1258, however, there were only thirteen bovates of the bishop's fee in the settlement. The missing three carucates and six bovates must have been situated in Boughton and possibly Asgarby (RA no 377).
2. Templars, 8; FA iii, 189.
3. QCO, MS 366, f,ix; FA iii, 250.
4. Trollope, 330.
5. Bristol Estate Survey 1860, privately owned, Sleaford Museum, 1970s.
6. CCAP, CFK 054
7. M. W. Beresford, The Lost Villages of England, London 1954, 363.