In northern England and Scotland, 13th – 19th centuries, a unit of land area, = ¼ of a yardland. It varied from place to place, no larger than 10 acres, and as small as less than 4.
First you must note, that two Fardels of Land make a Nook of Land, and two Nooks make half a Yard-Land, and two half-Yards make a Yard of Land, and four Yard-Lands make a Hide of Land, and four, (and some say eight Hides make a Knights Fee,) the Relief whereof is 5.l. and so ratably.
The Compleat Lawyer, or, a Treatise Concerning Tenures and Estates…
London: Printed and sold by John Amery, 1674.
The first edition was in 1651. It became a standard work, often reprinted. Noy was a highly-respected jurist and, briefly, Attorney General to Charles I.
Sutton-Colfield, County of Warwick
… Item, illi qui tenuerunt dimidiam virgatam terræ, vel nocatam terræ, vel cotagium de bondagii tenura, solebant esse bedellum manerii et decennarium.
Also, those who held half a yard-land, or a nook* of land, or a cottage of bondage-tenure, were used to be beadle of the manor, and decenary.
*Nocatam terræ. A nook of land. A. Noy, in his Complete Lawyer, p. 57, says two fardels of land make a nook, and four nooks make a yard-land. Blount's Law Dict. tit. Fardel.
Thomas Blount. Rev. and corrected by Josiah Beckwith. Additions by Hercules Malebysse Beckwith.
Fragmenta Antiquitatis: or, Ancient Tenures of Land …
London: Printed by S. Brooke, Paternoster-Row, for Messrs Butterworth and Son, etc., 1815.
NOOK. The quarter of a yard-land, which varies according to the place from 15 to 40 acres. See Carlisle's Account of Charities, p.298. Still in use.
James Orchard Halliwell.
Dictionary of archaic and provincial words, obsolete phrases, proverbs, and ancient customs from the fourteenth century. 10th edition. vol 2.
London: John Russell Smith, 1881.
It is the yardland, not the nook, which varies from 15 to 40 acres. The nook varies with it.
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Last revised: 23 March 2018.