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Explore medieval Grantham Wouldn’t it be great if you could travel back in time a thousand or so years to the time of the Domesday Book and explore the town of Grantham as it was then…..? Using this PowerPoint you can do just that! Simply click on the aerial photograph of Grantham today to explore what it may have looked like in the medieval period …. Lets Go Resource created for www.mylearning.org © Lincolnshire Historic Environment Recordwww.mylearning.org
Resource created for www.mylearning.org © Lincolnshire Historic Environment Recordwww.mylearning.org
Sokeland Back to Aerial Photo See complete Medieval map At the time of Domesday (1086) the open-field system was used across England. Each village or town was surrounded by two, three or four very large fields. Each year crops like wheat, barley, oats, peas and beans would be grown on one or more of those fields, and one left fallow to regain its fertility. The land was farmed communally - each field divided into strips and split among the peasants. There were few hedges or other field boundaries. You can see the evidence of medieval strip farming or ridge and furrow in fields today - the "corrugated iron" effect. Remains of ridge and furrow were found and recorded during archaeological work off Belton Lane. The 16 th century map shows an area of field systems which includes ridge and furrow, strip farming and animal husbandry. The land use changed to retail use and now a modern shopping centre and car park exists on the plot. Resource created for www.mylearning.org © Lincolnshire Historic Environment Recordwww.mylearning.org
Farmland Back to Aerial Photo See complete Medieval map The land changed from being used for farming to being used for residential purposes. The terraced houses that are present on this site now are probably Victorian in date and can be seen on the first edition Ordnance Survey map dating from about 1880. They correspond to the expansion of the town in the 19 th century.’ Grantham and the surrounding villages were organised under the feudal system and in Domesday Book the land is recorded as manors owned by the King, the church or other noblemen. The Lord of the Manor would collect taxes for the king and his land was worked by peasants called villeins. Villeins worked on the land with rights to pasture and meadow for hay making and animal grazing but he had to work on the lord's land for free. A large amount of land was owned by King William, not just in Grantham itself, but in the surrounding area. This was known as sokeland and included parts of nearby villages such as Gonerby, Harlaxton, Great Ponton, Stoke Rochford or Belton. Sokeland was land worked by sokemen; peasants who paid their own taxes and rented the land they farmed to the soke Lord. A sokeman had more control over his land than a villein. Resource created for www.mylearning.org © Lincolnshire Historic Environment Recordwww.mylearning.org
The edge of medieval Grantham Back to Aerial Photo See complete Medieval map Grantham is first mentioned in Domesday Book and is recorded as Grantham, Grandham, Granham and Graham.The name may come from an old English name Granta or more likely from “grand” meaning gravel. The ham comes from Old English meaning homestead or estate. This plot is where the town and the rural areas meet and the medieval map shows the fields and the layout of the houses, burgage plots and small paddocks. On the modern map, the plot is still of mixed use but the land is now residential and industrial. Resource created for www.mylearning.org © Lincolnshire Historic Environment Recordwww.mylearning.org
Burgesses Back to Aerial Photo See complete Medieval map Burgesses were people who lived in towns. They could hold land and paid rent to their local lord and unlike the villeins who lived in the countryside, they could dispose of their land as they wished. Towns were centres for trade and centres of industry. At the time of Domesday there were 111 burgesses living in Grantham (people working and paying tax). The population of the town was around 555 - a considerable size for the time. The medieval map shows residential land use with long burgage plots (owned by burgesses) at the back of the houses which front onto the street. The burgage plots contain smaller vegetable plots and enclosures where livestock were kept. The property boundaries remain a similar shape through to the modern period.’ Resource created for www.mylearning.org © Lincolnshire Historic Environment Recordwww.mylearning.org
The Market Back to Aerial Photo See complete Medieval map Markets and fairs were held in Grantham from a very early date. There were no other markets within 7 miles, which meant that Grantham was a very important centre for local trade. A market was held once a week on a set day and in a set place - in Grantham this was close to the Great North Road. A fair was held annually on a set date - often a saint's day and could last for several days. The layout of the market place is the same from the medieval period through to the modern day and the market cross still exists. Click here to see a reconstruction drawing of what the medieval market may have looked like.here Resource created for www.mylearning.org © Lincolnshire Historic Environment Recordwww.mylearning.org
Communications and Trade Links Back to Aerial Photo See complete Medieval map Grantham is located on the Great North Road, and near the River Witham, which meant that the town had great long-distance connections for trading and communications. The Great North Road (the A1) ran north from London to York and was the main north-south route in medieval times. It's not only buildings and archaeological remains that survive from medieval Grantham. The street layout visible today is largely the same as it was in the medieval period. The land use in the medieval period was residential and rural/arable farmland which was converted to retail in the modern period. Many of the names of the roads, streets and even buildings contain clues to the medieval town - Grey Friars, Guildhall Street, Spitalgate School, Castlegate, Angel & Royal Hotel …. Resource created for www.mylearning.org © Lincolnshire Historic Environment Recordwww.mylearning.org
The Royal Borough of Grantham Back to Aerial Photo See complete Medieval map Before 1066 a large part of Grantham was owned by Queen Edith who had a hall there, and it is also recorded as having its own mint between about 979 and 1016. After the Battle of Hastings and by the time of Domesday Book in 1086 Grantham was owned by King William and was a Royal Borough (an important town). The medieval map shows residential buildings with burgage plots. The layout is similar on the modern map, although the medieval buildings were cleared to be replaced by new houses and a car park. Resource created for www.mylearning.org © Lincolnshire Historic Environment Recordwww.mylearning.org
The Blue Pig public house Back to Aerial Photo See complete Medieval map The Blue Pig Inn was built probably in the sixteenth century as a shop and an inn, and is a timber-framed building, with a projecting first floor. The pub is still in existence in the present day. The building has obviously been altered and added to but retains its internal medieval core. Resource created for www.mylearning.org © Lincolnshire Historic Environment Recordwww.mylearning.org
The Angel Inn Back to Aerial Photo See complete Medieval map On the site of the Angel and Royal Hotel stood a much earlier building called the Angel Inn. This was used as the Commandery (headquarters of a manor or estate) of the Knights Templars and then the Knights Hospitallers. The Hotel was arguably in existence from the 13 th century, although the present buildings probably date from the 15 th century. Retail buildings have been built around the hotel to replace the residential buildings from the medieval period. Resource created for www.mylearning.org © Lincolnshire Historic Environment Recordwww.mylearning.org
Kings Grammar School Back to Aerial Photo See complete Medieval map A school existed in Grantham in 1322, which was re-founded in around 1494. In 1550-1 it was again re-founded as Free Grammar School of King Edward VI. The Old School House (built in 1497) and the Masters House (built in 1500) survive in near original condition, among 19th-20th century rebuilding. Numbers 1 and 2, Church Street, are also Listed Buildings dating from the 16 th century. Resource created for www.mylearning.org © Lincolnshire Historic Environment Recordwww.mylearning.org
The Church Back to Aerial Photo See complete Medieval map Churches are mentioned in Domesday as they provided an income for the lord of the Manor. The grade I Listed church was built in the 12 th century and retains its original format, although it has undergone some alteration and additions. A church is mentioned in Domesday (1086), which was almost certainly on the site of the present day church - St Wulfram's. Resource created for www.mylearning.org © Lincolnshire Historic Environment Recordwww.mylearning.org
Tofts and Crofts Back to Aerial Photo See complete Medieval map In the villages of Lincolnshire peasants lived in houses made of wood, turf or unbaked earth built on platforms known as tofts. Later, stone was used for foundations and walls. Next to the house, there would be a croft or garden / paddock. Here the peasants would grow vegetables such as peas, beans, leeks, onions and herbs as well as keep ducks, hens and geese. At the time of Domesday (1086),a total of 77 tofts were recorded in Grantham. The area was residential in the medieval period as shown by the houses and long burgage plots. It remains partially residential in the present day although there are also retail buildings on the site Resource created for www.mylearning.org © Lincolnshire Historic Environment Recordwww.mylearning.org
St Margaret’s Hospital Back to Aerial Photo See complete Medieval map The hospital of St Margaret was founded before 1328 and is also referred to as the hospital by the Spittlegate (the word Spital often refers to leper hospitals). A medieval Christian cemetery was excavated in 1857 (and in 1991) on London Road near Wharf Road, to the south of the map. This may be the cemetery of St. Margaret's Hospital and means that the hospital buildings might be nearby. Three of the skeletons excavated in 1991 showed signs of having had leprosy. The area was used for residential purposes, or possibly for the Hospital, and for farming land and is now of mixed residential and retail use. Resource created for www.mylearning.org © Lincolnshire Historic Environment Recordwww.mylearning.org
14. Ridge and Furrow Back to Aerial Photo See complete Medieval map The land was farmed communally - large fields, part of the open field system, were divided into strips and split among the peasants. There were few hedges or other field boundaries. In the medieval period, the area was green fields which were ploughed in strips known as ridge and furrows. Different crops might have been grown along each ridge as they were often worked by different sokemen. The modern map shows that the area is still green fields and evidence of the ridge and furrow can be seen on the aerial photograph. Resource created for www.mylearning.org © Lincolnshire Historic Environment Recordwww.mylearning.org
Grantham House Back to Aerial Photo See complete Medieval map A manor was the dwelling and estate of the nobleman who held the land from the King or other nobleman. They would collect payments for the King from the peasants around and make them work for him. In the Domesday Book the size of manors varied enormously. In the medieval period this area was occupied by Grantham House and its gardens. The gate posts at the entrance to the property, opposite the church, are 13 th century Listed features that are still in existence in the present day. The property layout remains fairly similar on the modern map, although the house has been demolished and replaced with a new building and a swimming pool. The large expanses of green land have not been built upon. Resource created for www.mylearning.org © Lincolnshire Historic Environment Recordwww.mylearning.org
Watermills Back to Aerial Photo See complete Medieval map There is documentary evidence in the Domesday Book of at least four mills existing in medieval Grantham. These were watermills not windmills which were a later invention. They were probably located along the River Witham, although their exact location is unknown. There is also a large amount of ridge and furrow farming in this area. The modern map shows that this was replaced by expanses of industry. Resource provided by www.mylearning.org © Lincolnshire Historic Environment Recordwww.mylearning.org
Aerial Photo Resource created for www.mylearning.org © Lincolnshire Historic Environment Recordwww.mylearning.org
The first markets were held by custom in Grantham rather than by a Charter granted by a king. This is a reconstruction drawing of what market day may have looked like in medieval Grantham. The first recording of a market in Grantham is in 1281 and it is not until 1484 that a Charter for a Wednesday market and two fairs (around Easter and in early December) were granted by King Richard III. Aerial Photo Resource created for www.mylearning.org © Lincolnshire Historic Environment Recordwww.mylearning.org
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