Definitions for virgateˈvɜr gɪt, -geɪt
This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word virgate
An early English measure of land of about 30 acres.
Shaped like a rod; straight, long and thin.
finely striped, often with dark fibers.
Origin: From virgātus.
having the form of a straight rod; wand-shaped; straight and slender
a yardland, or measure of land varying from fifteen to forty acres
Origin: [LL. virgata, virgata terrae, so much land as virga terrae, a land measure, contains, fr. L. virga a twig, rod.]
The virgate or yardland was a unit of land area measurement used in medieval England, typically outside the Danelaw, and was held to be the amount of land that a team of two oxen could plough in a single annual season. It was equivalent to a quarter of a hide, so was nominally thirty acres. A ‘virgater’ would thus be a peasant who occupied or worked this area of land, and a ‘half virgater’ would be a person who occupied or worked about 15 acres. The Danelaw equivalent of a virgate was two oxgangs, or ‘bovates’: as these names imply, the oxgang or bovate was considered to represent the amount of land that could be worked in a single annual season by a single ox, and therefore equated to half a virgate. As such, the oxgang represented a parallel division of the carucate. Accordingly, a 'bovater' is the Danelaw equivalent of a half virgater. ‘Virgate’ is an anglicisation of the Medieval Latin virgata. In some parts of England, it was divided into four nooks. Nooks were occasionally further divided into a farundel.
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