Beckingham & Saundby History


Toll BarSaundby Cheese Factory

Beckingham Origin - "A Dictionary of English Place-Names" (A D Mills, Oxford University Press, 1991) has the name Beckingham being from the Old English Becca+inga+ham, or "homestead of the family or followers of Bassa" and is of Anglo Saxon origin.

Beckingham was part of Roger de Busli's domain after the Conquest and became a typical medieval village. The land was farmed in strips in some variation of the Three Field System. There were two manors, one held by the Duke of Newcastle and one by the Archbishop of York.

The whole pattern was altered in 1776/79 when the enclosures took place. The main owners of land then were the Meynell family, Thomas Waterhouse, who had inherited the Hall family's land, the Prebend of Beckingham and the Chapter of Southwell, and the Vicar. The Meynell estate was then bought by William and Robert Cross of Gringley and William Flint of Beckingham; Thomas Waterhouse's land was divided when his daughter Elizabeth Hawksmore Massingberd died, and much of the Church land has been sold off. So for the past 300 years, Beckingham has not been dominated by any very large landowners.

The Ramper Toll Road and Gainsborough Bridge opened in 1790, and in the nineteenth century engineering firms became established in Gainsborough and this gave the farm labourer an alternative form of employment. There was also a chemical works at West Stockwith, work on the railway and in 1887, Joseph Spencer Compton Watson established his shipyard on the Trent Bank.

Since 1958, the Shipyard and Railway Station have closed; The Crown Inn and Hare and Hounds have closed and most of the farmsteads are no longer part of farms; but oil has been found; even so we cannot buy petrol here. Numerous houses have been built since 1958 and the Village Shop/Post Office thrives today. The working population has increased enormously over the last few years, mainly due to people commuting to nearby towns (Gainsborough, Lincoln, Retford, Scunthorpe, Doncaster etc). Only the Church and farming have had continuity through the centuries.
Saundby Origin - Saun+by (+by - farmstead of) Danish origin, possibly when the Danes travelled inland up the River Idle and settled in the area.

Saundby is a small hamlet adjoining Beckingham with a population of approximately 100.

It lies on the Beckingham to Retford A631 road and was once accessed via a Toll Bar situated at the top of Ramper Road.

The land in Saundby originally belonged to Lord and Lady Middleton but they sold the farms and land c1921. The only industry than the smallholdings/farmsteads was the cheese factory that once existed on the main Beckingham to Retford Road and a Mink Farm which was run from Saundby Park Farm in the 1960s and 70s and was owned by a Mr Emmerson.

The church of St Martin of Tours, built around the 16th Century, is now a closed church and only open for special occasions or by appointment eg the day of the Nottinghamshire Historic Church Trust Sponsored Cycle Ride held in early September. The remainder of the village is taken up with residential houses and smallholdings/farms.

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