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NONNAMINSTRE

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The manor of Nonneminstre, held of Earl Roger by the Abbey of Almaneches in Domesday Book, is commonly said to be at Lyminster, the grounds being that the later Lyminster Priory was a nunnery and cell of the abbey, and that the name Nonneminstre is a record of that fact in Domesday. However, the earliest reference to Lyminster Priory is not until 1263, and we only have tradition, dating from the 14th century, that the nunnery was founded by Earl Roger. It is extremely unlikely that Domesday would record the same place under two names, and improbable that Lyminster would comprise 33 hides when combined with Nonneminstre. In a Bull of Pope Alexander conferring certain properties on Almaneches in 1178, there are mentioned the churches of Climping, Ford, Poling, Rustinton and `Nummenistre', together with the manors of Climping, Ford, Poling and `Presintone'. It is suggested that Nummenistre and Nonneminstre are one and the same, and are closely identified with Presintone. It is further suggested that the 15 hides in Nonneminstre, of which 14 were held by the priests in the reign of the Confessor, are really Rustington and West Preston, Rustington not being mentioned in Domesday Book. It is further noted that the first element of the name is the personal name `Nonne', and not a reference to the common name `nun'. Nothelm, or Nunna, was King of Sussex circa 692-714, and therefore Nonneminstre may have been a monastic foundation of the King.

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