Monument record MLI80739 - Settlement of Leadenham


There is documentary evidence which refers to Leadenham in the mid eleventh century, as well as Domesday. The settlement survives to the present.

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Full Description

61197 According to a document written by Hugh Candidus, a monk of Peterborough, in the twelfth century Lady Godiva gave Leadenham, amongst other land, to St Peter of Peterborough. Lady Godiva (she is a different Godiva to the one from Coventry) was wife of Siward, Earl of Northumbria (1033-55). Before Domesday the land had belonged to Ralf the Staller, but the record of renders for horse fodder indicates that they had formerly been associated with the earl's administration of the area. Leadenham was probably one of the holdings attached to the office of earl, and only came to Siward, and through him to Godiva, when parts of Lincolnshire were annexed to the earldom of Northumbria in the 1050s. {1} In the Domesday Book land at Leadenham was given to Count Alan of Brittany. The number of desmesne teams was a lot less than could farm the desmesne land, which suggests that the land regarded as desmesne included villeins' land. This may imply the beginnings of the concept of a lord having rights over the land of villeins, a concept which prevailed at the height of the feudal system two hundred years later. Leadenham was returned with Fulbeck for the purposes of the Domesday Book, and together they had a minimum population of 117, with two churches and two priests (one in each settlement). Later, land was given by Count Alan and Nigel of Brittany to the Knights Templar's preceptory at Temple Bruer, which included 80 acres of meadow. Money was also given. {2}{3} The name probably derives from Old English meaning 'Leoda's homestead, estate', from the Old English personal name and 'ham'. An alternative derivation for the name is from the Old English 'Leod' (which seems to be the source of the Lincolnshire dialect word 'leed'), which means 'the reed meadowgrass'. {4}{5} In 1563 the Diocesan Returns recorded 62 households. {6} In the late seventeenth and early eighteenth century between 70 and 80 families were living in Leadenham. {7} The population of Leadenham in 1801 was 517, which peaked in 1851 at 735, and was 605 by 1901. {8} An area of earthworks in Leadenham village (61197a - SK 9504 5206) of uncertain definition but they are within the village core and are probably settlement remains. {9}{10} Enclosure occurred in Leadenham in 1777-78 by Act of Parliament. The open-field system of the parish made logical use of the geography of the area, as always. East of the village, on the high and dry lands, were large areas of common pasture; the north and South Heaths and the Common Heath. Immediately to the north east of the village were small acreages of open arable; the Field East of Town, North Field and South Field. The village within its old enclosures was on and below the cliff edge. West of the village closes, on land sloping down towards the River Brant lay four or five open-fields; North Low Field, Middle North Low Field, Middle South Low Field, South Field and South Low Field. On the lowest land, the area most difficult to drain, were the Meadows, the Common Pasture and the Ox Pasture. {11}

Sources/Archives (11)

  •  Article in Serial: Roffe, D.. 1993. 'Lady Godiva, The Book, and Washingborough' in Lincolnshire Past and Present. Vol 12, pp.9-10.
  •  Bibliographic Reference: C.W. Foster and T. Longley. 1924. Lincolnshire Domesday and Lindsey Survey. xxviii, lxxxii, 12/48.
  •  Bibliographic Reference: Mills, D.. 1994. The Knights Templar in Kesteven. Appendix.
  •  Bibliographic Reference: Kenneth Cameron. 1998. A Dictionary of Lincolnshire Place-Names. page 79.
  •  Bibliographic Reference: Ekwall, E.. 1960. Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Place-Names - Fourth Edition. page 291.
  •  Bibliographic Reference: Gerald A.J. Hodgett. 1975. Tudor Lincolnshire. page 190.
  •  Bibliographic Reference: R.E.G. Cole. 1913. Speculum Dioeceseos Lincolniensis sub Episcopis Gul: Wake et Edm: Gibson A.D.1705-1723. Part 1: Archdeaconries of Lincoln and Stow. page 78.
  •  Bibliographic Reference: William Page (ed). 1906. The Victoria County History: Lincolnshire - Volume 2. page 363.
  •  Verbal Communication: Lott, B.. Information from Beryl Lott. 28/06/2000.
  •  Unpublished Document: R.H. Healey and D.R. Roffe. Some Medieval and Later Earthworks in South Lincolnshire. -.



Grid reference Centred SK 9505 5217 (585m by 1172m) Centre

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Record last edited

Mar 21 2021 8:35PM


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