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Settlement of Old Sleaford

Reference Name MLI91636

Settlement of Old Sleaford

Old Sleaford is mentioned in Domesday Book, although it did not gain the epithet 'Old' until the 13th century. It may have been deserted by the end of the medieval period.


PRN 65277
There are two entries for 'Eslaforde' in Domesday Book, however ‘Old’ and ‘New' Sleaford are not distinguished. Land there was held by the Bishop of Lincoln and Saint Benedict of Ramsey. {1}
It was previously thought that the settlement of Old Sleaford pre-dated that of New Sleaford, and that New Sleaford was a planned town created in the 12th century. It was therefore assumed that both Domesday entries referred to it. However, this has been challenged and it is now thought that New Sleaford is the manor/settlement belonging to the Bishop of Lincoln in Domesday, and that Old Sleaford is represented by the much smaller holding of Saint Benedict of Ramsey and was part of the manor at Quarrington. {2}{3}
Therefore, the minimum population at the time of Domesday Book was 1 sokeman and 2 villeins. {1}
The first element of the place name Sleaford originates from the Old English river name ‘Sliowa’ meaning ‘muddy waters, water with slimy vegetation’. The second element is the Old English ‘ford’, hence the name means ‘ford over the Sliowa’. Post Conquest forms show Old Danish influence. {4}
The full name 'Old' Sleaford is first documented in 1235. 'Little' and 'East' Sleaford are also used in documents of this period. {2}
The Lay Subsidy of 1334 records Old Sleaford's wealth as £5 12s.8d., around average for its wapentake (Aswardhurn). {5}
The Diocesan Return of 1563 records 11 families resident in the parish. {6}
By 1801, there were 126 people living in the parish, rising to 669 by 1901. {7}
The medieval settlement of Old Sleaford is assumed to have been located around Old Place and St Giles church. By the 16th century, much of the land around Old Place appears to be parkland associated with the Hussey manor (see PRN 65278 and PRN 65279). This suggests that the village had dwindled or even become deserted by this time. {3}{8}
Possible faint traces of medieval settlement remains to the north of Old Place have been seen on an aerial photograph from 1955. {3}
Traces of Saxon and medieval settlement have been reported from Old Place. {9}{12}{13}
Saxon pottery has been reported from approx. TF 076 458. {9}
A penny of Edward I was found at Old Place (no grid reference given) in 1982. {9}
A cut half penny of Henry III and a medieval bronze buckle plate were found at 'Old Sleaford' (no grid reference given) in 1980. {9}{10}
Several 14th century coins have been found near Old Place house. 17th and 18th century tokens and a coin of 1624 have also been found in the area. {11}

1 Bibliographic reference: Foster, C.W. and Longley, T.. 1924. Lincolnshire Domesday and Lindsey Survey. 7/43; 10/2
2 Article in serial: ROFFE, D.. 1979. 'Origins' in South Lincolnshire Archaeology 3: Sleaford. pp 11-16
3 Bibliographic reference: Elsdon, Shelia M. 1997. Old Sleaford Revealed. Chapter 9; p 8, plate 1
4 Bibliographic reference: Cameron, K.. 1998. A Dictionary of Lincolnshire Place-Names. p 112
5 Article in serial: Glasscock, R. E.. 1964. 'The Lay Subsidy of 1334 for Lincolnshire' in Lincolnshire Architectural and Archaeological Society Reports and Papers. p 123
6 Bibliographic reference: Hodgett, G.A.J.. 1975. Tudor Lincolnshire. p 190
7 Bibliographic reference: Page, W. (editor). 1906. The Victoria County History. Lincolnshire volume II. p 360
8 Verbal communication: Bennet, M. and Bax, L.. 2008. Discussion about Old Sleaford settlement and the manor at Old Place. 17/06/08
9 Index: Sleaford SMR cards. SLEAFORD. TF 04 NE; D, E
10 Unpublished document: White, A. J.. 1980. List of metal finds from Old Sleaford. 2, 32
11 Correspondence: 1936-1964. Letters and other material relating to the Stubley Collection. Nos. 9, 21, 22, 24
13 Article in serial: FENNELL, K.R.. 1959. 'King Street in Kesteven and some notes on Old Sleaford' in The Lincolnshire Historian. Vol 2 No. 6, pp 22-27
14 Bibliographic reference: WHITE, W.. 1856. History, Gazetteer and Directory of Lincolnshire. pp 438-39
15 Index: Ordnance Survey. Sleaford O.S. cards. SLEAFORD. TF 04 NE: 19

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Last updated: 23-July-2015 12:14:31

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