Earl Shilton is a small town in Leicestershire, England, roughly half way between Hinckley and Leicester.
One of the parcels of land gifted to Hugh de Grandsmesnil by King William the Conqueror was the village of Scheltone, now known as Earl Shilton. The village measured some 500 acres, standing on the top of a low ridge in the southwest of the county. Schulton or Scheltone is an ancient word, which means shelf. The village boasted 3 ploughs, with 1 serf and 4 sokemen. Sokemen were the highest class of free peasants, a lower aristocracy, and were thought to be the decedents of the Danes who settled in the East Midlands. The village also had a priest, 10 villeins and 5 bordars. Villeins and Bordars were below Sokemen and tied to the land. Villeins often held between 30 to 100 acres, while Bordars were of a lower standing and usually had a smallholding.
Attached to the village of Sheltone were 12 acres of meadow and a mill of 16 pence value, with woodland 8 furlongs in length and 3 broad valued at 70 shillings. Following the Norman invasion there must have been some inflation as during the time of Edward the Confessor Sheltone’s woodland was valued at 5 shillings.