Domesday

16 6 In ECCLESFIELD Wulfeah, Alsige, Godric, Dunning, Almer and Northmann had 4 carucates of land taxable where 3 ploughs are possible. Roger now has here 1 plough; and 2 villagers and 2 smallholders with 1 plough. Woodland pasture, 1 leagues long and as wide. Value before 1066 3; now 10s

Extract from the Domesday book - 1086

At the time of the Norman conquest, Ecclesfield was held by the six Saxon lords mentioned above. Their fate after the establishment of Norman rule is uncertain, but it appears that their lands were seized and granted to Earl Waltheof. By the time of the Domesday survey in 1086, Waltheof had been executed for his part in an uprising against William I and his lands had passed to his wife, the Countess Judith (daughter of William's half sister). The lands were held on her behalf by Roger de Busli.

The fall in value from 3 (before the conquest) to 10 shillings was due to William's brutal reprisals for an attempted uprising in the north of England around 1069. Large tracts of the country in Yorkshire and Durham were laid waste and de-populated. Thus Ecclesfield grew out of very humble beginnings, there being only a cluster of houses at the time of Domesday.

De Busli was a major landholder in the north midlands. He held 174 manors in Nottinghamshire, where he had a seat of power at Blythe. His principal castle was at Tickhill in Yorkshire. Very little is known about de Busli, he died around the end of the 11th century, being succeeded by a son, Roger, who died without issue. The family's lands passed to William de Lovetot who already held the manors of Sheffield and Hallamshire.

The principal bequest of de Lovetot was the founding of a church at Ecclesfield in the early 1100s. This church was given to the monks of St. Wandrille's abbey in Normandy, from which a small outpost based itself in Ecclesfield.


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