The Domesday Book of 1086 records two Saxons holding land at Hickleton along with four ‘villagers’ and thirteen ‘smallholders’ making up the rest. As a consequence of the Norman Conquest these two Saxons, Swien and Arnthor lost their land and it was granted to Aubrey of Coucy, a Norman knight, who held it direct from King William. Aubrey became Earl of Northumbria, but by 1090 had returned to France. William II granted Hickleton to the Balliol’s of Bywell and Barnard Castle, they held Hickleton as Tenants-in-Chief, as did their descendents until John Balliol II, King of Scotland lost his English lands to Edward I in 1296.
Hickleton church became part of Monk Bretton Priory in 1246 and its long chancel reflects this period of monastic ownership. The Hickleton lands and church living held by the priory were granted to Richard Turke and he was still in possession in 1545. By 1550 Robert Saunderson had acquired them, passing rapidly to Richard Ellis and William Vicars in 1552, by 1570 Francis Shepherd was the owner. Finally in 1578 Sir Henry Knyvet was in possession selling to Sir Francis Rodes who built a fine Elizabethan house for his son Peter.
The village never grew larger than its Anglo-Saxon origin, peaking in size before the Black Death in 1349, being confined by the size of the parish, around 1100 acres and its adherence to farming. During this late medieval period the village consisted of a Manor House, a Rectory (until the ownership by Monk Bretton Priory), several farms or smallholdings, a medieval bridge and two medieval crosses; all surrounded by open fields.
Lords of the Manor
Recorded Medieval lords of the manor at Hickleton are as follows:
1066 Swien and Arnthor
1118 Wielard the Huitelard de Hickleton
1167 Randulf de Newmarche
1190 William de Newmarche
1215 Randulf de Newmarche (his 4 children took the name de Hickleton)
1246 Peter de Rotherfield (or Rotherforde)
1300 William de Rotherfield
1316 John Curzon, Robert and Alice Harrengal, Thomas and Beatrice Ashbury and Giles de Hickleton
1350 Roger Curzon
1363 Henry Gramary
1371 William Finchden
1379 Roger Preston of Purston Jaglin
c1500 Andrew Kelham married daughter of Thomas Preston
1539 Thomas Kelham
1558 Francis Kelham married a dau. of Thomas Normanville of Billingley
1578 Sir Henry Knyvet, land speculator, sold Hickleton on to Sir Francis Rodes
The Hickleton Crosses
The village of Hickleton is perhaps unique in the fact that it has several crosses erected throughout the village. Seven of them are still standing and an eighth situated out in the parkland disappeared in the late 1930s.
All of them owe their existence to a pious landlord, either by their erection or preservation. One is medieval and another has a large proportion of medieval work preserved. The landlord is the second Viscount Halifax of Monk Bretton and the story is told in the book ‘In Search of Calvary: the Hickleton Crosses’ by John A Dabell.
It costs £4.00 plus postage and packing of eighty pence from the author email address firstname.lastname@example.org or purchase directly from Hickleton church or Doncaster and Barnsley Central Library if you are in the area.