One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A varying measure of land, typically 30 acres.
- ‘It was his own property, served by a poor priest in return for glebe land of 2 virgates, twice as much as a ceorl.’
- ‘These villages were then spelt Blachesleune and Atenestone and containing seven hides and one virgate of land.’
- ‘Peter renounced his claim on the messuage and two virgates and in return Roger gave half the mill at Wycherly to Peter and the use of his woods.’
- ‘Two knights hold three virgates and ten acres from Harduin in Caldecote.’
- ‘Now, allowing for variation in the size of acres, it may be that those two virgates were Pinnocks Field.’
Mid 17th century: from Latin virgatus, from virga ‘rod’.
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