Anglo-Saxon Boundaries of Scrooby

In the mid Tenth Century, Scrooby was one of two large estates in Nottinghamshire given by the King to Oscytel, Archbishop of York. The two estates were Scrooby with Sutton in the north of Nottinghamshire, and Southwell in the south of the county. Both estates were large areas, each encompassing several villages. The estates don't really have a modern legal or administrative counterpart; being far larger than a parish, and smaller than a county or district. Large estates did have a long history, perhaps back to the late Roman or even prehistoric period, and they often underpinned regional groupings, ownership and administration well into the medieval and post-medieval periods. This was certainly true of Scrooby, and Southwell, where the Archbishop of York's influence was felt into the Seventeenth Century and even later.

The Latin and Anglo-Saxon text of the 958 charter granting Scrooby with Sutton to the Archbishop survives as a fourteenth century copy in York. The text was transcribed and translated by G T Davis, and published in 1983 in the Transaction of the Thoroton Society Volume 87.

The northern estate is split into two areas. The westerly area is described as 'Scroppen thorpe and Thuresby'. Scroppen Thorpe is Scrooby, but it is not clear which village or area was denoted by Thuresby; possibly Torworth. The eastern area is denoted as Suttune; our Sutton or Sutton-cum-Lound.

The boundaries of the two areas are recorded in Anglo-Saxon in the charter:

(Th)is sint (th)a land-gemaera to Scroppen (th)orpe and (Th)uresby: Of Langanforda dice, andland dices (th)aet on (th)a miclandic; andlang dices on Bli(th)an aet celfa ge(w)aede; andlang Bli(th)an on Beolege su(th)er(w)eared; (th)aet up on (th)a miclan straet ut (th)urh Beolege nor(th) ut (th)one feld; (th)aet adun on Bli(th)an on Iddil: up be Iddel on (th)one Fulan broc; andlang broces (thaet) est on Langanford.

(Th)is sint (th)a land-gemaera to Suttune: Of Fulanforda andlang straet to (th)am grafe; (th)on gerihte mid (th)one grafe on (th)one broc; andlang broces on Langanford; on gerihte of Scir(w)uda middeweardne on Iddel at Brodanfleote; (th)aet up be Iddel that est on Fulanford. Donne is Sigotes land binnan (th)isum gemaerum.

The transcription replaces Anglo-Saxon runes with 'th' and 'w', enclosing the letters with brackets.

Davies translates the Anglo-Saxon as:

This is the land boundary to Scroppen thorpe and Thuresby: From Langanford dyke, along the dyke to Miclandic (the great dyke), along the dyke to the Blithe at Celfa gewaede (calf ford, or wade), along the Blithe to Beolege southwards, then up to the miclan straet (the great street), along the street through Beolege north to the field, thence down to the Blithe, up by the Blithe to the Idle, up by the Idle to Fulanbroc (the foul brook), along the brook back to Langanford.

This is the land boundary to Suttune, from Fulanford along the street to the grove, then through the middle of the grove to the brook, along the brook to Langanford, straight from Sherwood midward to the Idle at Brodanfleote, thence up by the Idle to Fulanford. Sigotes land is contained within these boundaries.

Note that while the river Idle has the same name we use today, our river Ryton is called the river Blithe or Blithan in the document. (It is interesting to note that John Leland travelling around 1540 calls the region between Bawtry and Doncaster 'Blitherle': "Bawtre to Doncaster an vij Miles by a great Plaine and Sandy ground caullid Blitherle" (Itineraries Vol. L fol. 37); Blitherle - Blyth - Blithe seems to have been a commonly occurring name in the region).