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Swaledale and Arkengarthdale Archaeology Group

SWAAG Honorary President: 
Tim Laurie FSA
Tithe Land & Currency Units

The British Pound symbol: £,  modern code GBP
Since 15th February 1971 the pound has been divided into 100 pence. It is the world's oldest currency that is still in use.

In the Anglo-Saxon period the pound was equivalent to 240 silver pennies which was one pound in weight, however the pound weight then was different, and there was no consistent unit of silver quality until Henry II introduced Sterling silver which is 92.5% pure. In the Tudor period silver coinage was drastically debased down to only 33.3% silver.

The accounting system of 4 farthings = 1 penny, 12 pence = 1 shilling, 20 shillings = 1 pound was adopted from that introduced by Charlemagne to the Frankish Empire.

This system of coinage lasted until 31 December 1960 when the farthing ceased to be legal tender, then in 1971 when the currency was decimalised.
In this database the currency format is £-s-d for pounds, shillings & pence.
Farthings are shown as decimals of a penny (.25, .5 and .75)
Acres, Roods and Perches
A rod, pole or perch is a surveyors tool measuring 5.5 yards (5.03m) in length. It is also one quarter of a surveyor's chain which is 22 yards (20.12m) in length.

A square perch = 5.5 yards x 5.5 yards = 30.25 yards²           (= 25.29m²).

A Rood = 40 x perches² = 40 x 30.25 yards² = 1,210 yards²   (= ¼ acre = 1012m² = 0.0012ha).

An Acre = 4 Roods = 4 x 1,210 yards² = 4,840 yards²            (= 4047m² = 0.4047ha).

An acre is generally described as an area of land measuring one chain in width by one furlong in length.  A furlong = 10 chains or 220 yards.

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Registered Charitable Incorporated Organisation (England & Wales) Number 1155775 SWALEDALE AND ARKENGARTHDALE ARCHAEOLOGICAL GROUP