Treeton Local History Group

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Trectone and Domesday

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Fifteen places in South Yorkshire are recorded as having churches in the Domesday Book of 1086, of which Treeton's St Helen's church is one, and the only one in the whole of Hallamshire.  A significant number of holy wells in the north of England, from Lancashire across through Yorkshire to Lincolnshire are dedicated to the celtic goddess Elen, and it seems likely that this is the origin of the dedication of our church, although to the early Christians St Helen was the mother of the Emperor Constantine, who had resided at York and went on to establish Christianity as the state religion of the later Roman empire.  Helen of course is also credited with finding the one true cross, on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, so perhaps it is not surprising to find churches dedicated to this 'local celebrity' in our area.

Treeton is recorded as 'Trectone' in Domesday, where it is described as home to two manors, held at the time of the conquest by the Saxon lords Morcar and Ulchil:

'In Trectone Ulchil and Morcar [had] 2 manors of 3 carucates1 [now] to be taxed, and 2 ploughs may be there. Now Richard2 has there 1 plough and 4 villeins and 13 bordars3 have 4 ploughs. There is half a mill value five shillings and 2 mill sites, and a church and a priest. Pasturable wood 1/2 a league in length and 1 quarenten in breadth. The whole manor is 1 league in length and one league in breadth. The value in King Edward's time forty shillings, now twenty shillings.'
Sadly for Ulchil and Morcar and the residents of the manor the two saxon Earls rose in revolt two years after the Norman conquest, in 1068. This revolt was brutally crushed by William of Normandy in an episode known as the 'harrying of the North', when Norman forces destroyed the lands, homes and livestock of those northcountrymen who had tried to resist them, turning vast areas of the country into wasteland.  Domesday tells us that not only were Ulchil and Morcar stripped of their manors, but the value of the land had halved since their time and that the nearby settlements of Ulley, Brampton and Wales were 'wasta' - land laid to waste and of no value.


The Manor was later held by the Paynels and the Lutterels, in whose name it was held by the Lovetots and Furnivals, which latter family became sole lords by 1298 and let the Manor in turn to the Horberys and Bernaks. In due course the title to the land passed to the Talbot's and Shrewsbury's and on to the Dukes of Norfolk, who are still major landholders in the village.

 


 1. The amount of land tillable by a team of eight oxen in a plowing season, approx. 120 acres.

2. The Richard referred to here is Richard de Sudeval, who was given the land by the Count of Mortain, half-brother to the Conqueror, from whom he held it.
3. A person ranking below villeins but above serfs, holding just enough land to feed a family (about 5 acres).

 

Last Updated on Thursday, 09 July 2009 20:55  
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