A YEAR ON THE LAND IN MEDIEVAL GROSMONT This piece was originally written for an exhibition which was part of the Welsh Castles Festival of 1983. It is based almost entirely on a translation of 'The Ministers' accounts for the Lordships of Abergavenny, Grosmont, and White Castle' by A.J.Roderick and William Rees which appeared in the South Wales and Monmouth Record Society, Publications Nos 2 and 3 (1950, 1954). The text, which relies heavily for interpretation on William Rees's South Wales and the March (1924) has been enlarged here and some explanatory notes have been added. It is Michaelmas in 1256, the fortieth year of the reign of Henry III and Grosmont now belongs to his son Edward (later King Edward I). The harvest is in and work is about to begin on the next year's tasks on the lord's farm (the Demesne). The Lord Edward rarely if ever visits this distant property so he appoints a Constable to look after the castle, a Seneschal to keep the peace and a Chamberlain to administer the work and output of the Lordship. These high officials live in the castle and have little to do with the common folk who live in the main village of Grosmont and in hamlets such as Llangua and Penbiddle elsewhere in the lordship. The Chamberlain sees to the appointment of a Reeve to whom he delegates the management of work on the demesne. Nobody wants to be Reeve because, as we shall see, it is a very unpopular job. But the law is that the villeins shall select, from among themselves, a Reeve to hold office for a year.2 This time it is William's turn. William is in for a hard year. Not only does his own land suffer because he has to give priority to the lord's work but he must organise his fellow villeins in their work for the Lord Edward; he has to collect any rents due, take away the best or second best beast (this is the heriot) when a tenant dies, collect the fines of the Manor Court, carry out unpopular decisions of the Chamberlain and many other unpleasant tasks.Two other reeves are appointed to by Phillip Morgan William the Reeve