The Oxfordshire entries in this central catalogue of manorial records and of their sometimes scattered whereabouts, have been revised and made available online (at http:discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/manor-search ). This provides an invaluable key to these important but often underused sources.
The MDR was established in 1922,to protect tenant rights when manorial court powers were abolished. It now enables local and family historians to discover what records, including court rolls, surveys, maps and leases, survive for their local places.
In 2019 a national project to revise and digitise the MDR reached Oxfordshire and the results can be searched via the National Archives’ excellent Discovery website.
An example is Cuxham, the subject of a classic collection of manorial records, published by ORS (Vol.50, 1974). Its editor, Paul Harvey, is also the author of A Medieval Oxfordshire Village. Cuxham 1240-1400 (OUP 1965) which shows just how much of the life of a community can be discovered with manorial records as a primary source. As the MDR reveals, there are 21 collections of Cuxham manorial records in three different archives- Merton College, Oxford, the National Archives and the Oxfordshire History Centre. They date between 1275 and 1847. Manorial records can have uses well beyond the medieval period.