A NOTE ON 'HECH' IN THE DOMESDAY BOOK By LORD RENNELL May I comment on Mr. F. Noble's very valuable article on the excava- tions at Bleddfa Church and his notes on Bleddfa manor in Radnorshire Transactions, Vol. XXXIII, 1963. At page 59 he discusses the place "Hech", a Domesday Manor of Osborn Fitz Richard le Scrob. I have no doubt whatsoever that "Hech" in the Domesday Book is what later was known as Nash and that its name in 1086 was "Hech", and not "Heth" as in the Balliol Transcript of the Domesday Book. I am equally con- vinced that the name "Hech" derives from "Atten Ash" or "iEsc"= "at the Ash Tree". The transcription in the Balliol version could readily be attributed to a clerical error, or alternatively could refer to heath-land of which there was a good deal in the Hindwell and Lugg valleys. St. Brendan's peregrination in the area where he is alleged to have founded a church at "Bledach in the region called Heth" (? Heath) does not per se place Nash Manor in that region. That the word "heath" in some parts of this area became a place name rather than a descriptive term is evidenced for instance in the place now called Broadheath on the Presteigne- Mortimer's Cross road which in the early Middle Ages was known as "La Hethe"—as a place name and not a description. To remove the possibility of confusion "lest some ignorant people" should assume that La Hethe was a vill/township, it was determined in 1292 that this La Hethe was neither "vill, borough nor hamlet".1 In this Assize case Edmund de Mortimer, Abbot of Wigmore, appeared against Roger de Mortimer, and won his case on the tenure of La Hethe. I strongly suspect that St. Brendan's "in regione cui nomen Heth" means no more than that the place where he founded a church (if he really did so) was in a region of heathland, that is uncultivated and un-occupied waste land. That "Hech" is Nash was accepted before my time and all my evidence goes to confirm the identification. The existence of the "parish" of Rodd, Nash and Little Brampton requires the existence of three manors, for which there is room in the district, to fulfil Maitland's generalisation that "a place mentioned in Domesday will probably be recognised as a vill in the thirteenth, (and) a civil parish in the nineteenth century .2 There are three such manors/vills in the parish, precisely at Rodd, Nash and Little Brampton. By the first half of the thirteenth century the tenants of Nash were a family variously named as de la Nasshe/de Frene/de Fraxino and this family continued at Nash and near Presteigne for a long time. The coincidence of the names Fraxino, Frene, Nasshe, Nash = Hech as derived from "atten Ash" (tree) is too strong to allow the Balliol variant of Heth for Hech to stand as correct for a moment. Finally in the catalogue of Osborn Fitz Richard's Hindwell manors, "Hech" occurs precisely at the point where an ambulation of his manors iAssize Roll J.I. 1/302 f. 27d 20 Edw. I. 2Thus also Lady Stenton in English Society in the Middle Ages.