Known collectively as the Hidings they are a cluster of villages on the Essex/Suffolk border, although if you'd only been told, by a local, where he lived and had not seen it written down you would have difficulty finding them in the road atlas because 'Hiding' tends to be phonetically rendered as 'Iden.'
Market Hiding is the largest village, and the oldest, its name deriving from 'hide', a reference both to the skin of the cattle raised in the area during the fifteenth century, used for vellum and the calfskin binding of books, and also to the fact that the rent for a 'hide' of land, something in the region of 60 to 120 acres, was paid for in hides rather than money or labour. Slightly larger and thought to have originally been a tongue in cheek reference to the fact that two 'hides' had been combined, was Hiding Under, alternatively there may have been a (now lost) reference to having been at one time worth a bushel.
Good Hiding and Hiding Soke - 'Idenseek' in the vernacular - had once been separate from Market Hiding, containing as they did the church and the rectory, but have now almost merged although the inhabitants fight fiercely to maintain their separateness.
Hiding George and Hiding Henry are little more than hamlets, dating from when the park surrounding the original house was divided between twin sons, later to be reunited after George was killed at the battle of Waterloo and Henry married George's widow.
submitted at 11:59am
31 January 2011
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