A North Yorkshire

St Oswald’s Farnham

Parish Meeting Agenda

The period between the withdrawal of the Romans, C 440 A.D. and the Norman Conquest, 1066 A.D. has few real sources of information. It was a time of chaos in Britain - internal struggle between rival factions and assault by foreign invaders - and particularly by the Anglo-Saxons from the North West of Europe. By 600 AD the Anglo-Saxons appear to have settled in most of England except the far West.

There seems to be agreement among historians that the Saxon Period was an 'age of settlements' - it is said that almost all the villages on present day maps were created before the Norman Conquest and there is no doubt that Farnham was one of these villages.
The Venerable Bede, a monk in the Northern monastery of Jarrow, writing in the 7th/8th centuries, might help a little in dating Farnham. The country was divided into many 'kingdoms', some large, some small. Bede listed some of the 'kings'. including Oswald of Northumbria, - a Christian Warrior King devoted to spreading Christianity - he was slain at Oswestry in 643 AD - a long way from home! Oswald through his Bishop Aiden, built a monastery on the island of Lindisfarne - a haunting place to see. On his death he was recognised as a martyr and saint and churches were dedicated to St. Oswald - including, it is believed, Farnham.
Of the rest of that turbulent time, we know little, but it is unlikely that Farnham would have entirely escaped the attentions of the Vikings and Norsemen and other raiders and settlers.
Four centuries after the death of Oswald came the Norman invasion and the survey, ordered by King William in 1080 - the Domesday Book - an interpretation of the entry for Farnham is as follows:
'In Farnham, Gospatric has 3 carncates of land to be taxed - land to one plough - There is now a priest and a church and one plough - Value in King Edward's time 10 shillings, now 5 shillings'

History of Farnham - Early Days

King William I met with much resistance from the Saxon rulers in the north of England and embarked on a ruthless campaign of suppression. The reduction of the value of the land from 10 shillings to 5 shillings indicates the destruction caused - this was a common feature of the towns and villages of the land.
The pre-Norman landowner, Gospatric, was the son of Archille, a powerful chief of the Northumbrians. A pact was forged between the Normans and Archille, Gospatric was made hostage to the pact and held 36 manors including Farnham.

England was now controlled by the Norman French.

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