1. Education
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.



Definition: A hide is a unit of land, the size of which has varied over the course of English history. In Anglo-Saxon England, a hide was an amount of land considered sufficient to support a single peasant family. Like the acre, this could vary depending on the soil and terrain. The hide was the earliest known land measurement to be used as the basis of taxation in England, and it was also used as the basis for mustering the Anglo-Saxon militia, the fyrd.

After the Norman Conquest, the hide continued to be used as the basis for taxation. In the 12th and 13th centuries, a hide was specifically defined as 120 acres. This is generally much more than is necessary to support the average family; it has been theorized that by this time peasant families usually held no more than a quarter of a hide.

The people in Tom's village worked the land on seven hides.
The powerful Stubbons family had an entire hide to themselves.
  1. About.com
  2. Education
  3. Medieval History
  4. Quick Reference
  5. Medieval History Glossary
  6. Medieval History Glossary Terms Beginning with H
  7. Hide - Unit of land

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.