In its most basic sense, a demesne
is any resource that is reserved for the use of the land owner, king, or manorial lord to which it has been granted, as opposed to that which is rented or lent out to others. On a medieval manor
, this could be not only agricultural lands worked by peasants a few times a week, but woodlands, orchards, ponds or lakes, mills, bakeries, farm buildings and the manor house itself. For the use of some of these resources (such as the mill or bakery), peasants would pay a fee.
Two days out of every week, Thomas worked on the lord's demesne.