Price Of Land


If you don't want the book, try the following for a quick and dirty rule of thumb. Personally, I wouldn't go with land prices as high as in the OP. I'd probably go more like 200 GP for an acre. 200 GP is also the price for a heavy war horse, and close to the price of a good set of armor. So I'd start at about 200 GP per acre, and then adjust accordingly. Some ideas for adjustment factors:

  • Rocky, unproductive land = -50%
  • Forrested = no adjustment (clearing the land takes extra effort, but the timber can be sold)
  • Water source on the property (pond, creek, etc.) = +50%
  • Already possesses serviceable buildings = (add the value of the buildings)
  • In a dangerous area subject to likely attack = -50%

Also, as mentioned above, determine the tax value of the land. 10 GP per acre / per year, would probably be a good place to start, and then modify based on the value/productivity of the land.

In the real medieval world, one would either buy the property from a noble or a church/monestary, or rent it (in which case, make the rent about the equal of the taxes for that property, plus a profit for goods the land might produce).

Using Wik's example from above. During the reign of Edward II in England, the King wanted to build up the border area with Wales. He did this by offering border land and titles to Nobles. The frontier with Wales was known as the March, so the nobles who accepted these lands were called "Marcher" Lords (the root of the title "Marquis"). By accepting the title and land from the King, they were provided the privilege/approval to build a castle (this always required the King's approval, even if you just wanted to add things like a tower, fortifications, crenallations, etc.). The new Marcher Lord would then entice freemen or tenants from his other properties, to come and build/farm/log the land by either selling plots, providing attractive agreements (low rent, you keep the profits, etc.), or simply renting them as normal (possibly even allowing serfs to "move up").

Another historical reference would be William the Conquerors Domesday Book, which listed virtually every property in England at the time, and it's tax value (based on "Hides", with a hide being a variable/subjective amount of land equal to what one family with an oxen team could cultivate in a year).

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