Status details for Wapentake

Number of units in system: 84
Geographical Level: 9 (Middle-level District)
ADL Feature Type:countries, 3rd order divisions
Is a status within:Ancient District

Full Description:

Wapentakes (written also as 'Wapentac') are the ancient divisions of the northern counties of Yorkshire, Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire, possibly orginiating from as far back as the Danes. These units roughly correspond to the Hundred of the West Saxon and Mercian counties. The word is Scandinavian and refers to the brandishing of weapons to signify assent in a popular assembly or meeting. The functions of the Wapentake were substantially the same as those of the Hundred, involving the managing or ruling of a hundred households or families. At present Derbyshire has only one Wapentake, ' Wirksworth' shown in Youngs as a Hundred, Lincolnshire is mainly made up of Wapentakes with a few Hundreds, whilst Yorkshire and Nottingham are made up of Wapentakes. The counties of Cheshire and Cumberland also retained traces of Wapentakes into the twentieth century.