The basic social, political, and economic unit of the manorial system, found in parts of northern Europe, Britain especially, from the 9th century ad. At its heart was a self‐sufficient landed estate, or fief, that was under the control of a lord who enjoyed a variety of rights over it and the peasants (serfs) who worked on it. The lord of the manor exercised his rights through a manor court. Some of the tenants also owed a variety of dues and/or labour services on the demesne depending on their tenure. A manor could be part of, co‐extensive with, or spread over several vills. In Britain manors ceased to have any general legal significance after ad 1925.