According to Domesday, Ashburton was held in chief by Osbern, bishop of Exeter, and rendered geld for six hides.
Bideford (Bedeford, Bydyford, Budeford, Bytheford) is not mentioned in pre-Conquest records, but according to Domesday it rendered geld for three hides to the king.
By 1086 the number of houses had decreased to too, and of these 20 were in such a wretched condition that they could not pay geld.
Early meanings of the root gild or geld were expiation, penalty, sacrifice or worship, feast or banquet, and contribution or payment; it is difficult to determine which is the earliest meaning, and we are not certain whether the gildsmen were originally those who contributed to a common fund or those who worshipped or feasted together.
According to the Domesday, Amesbury was a royal manor and did not pay geld, but was under the obligation of providing one night's entertainment for the king.