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Duffield Derbyshire - A brief history of the village

It is said, that there may have been a settlement here in Duffield, situated close to the junction of the rivers Derwent and Ecclesbourne since Roman times. Certainly, Roman pottery was produced at nearby Hazelwood and the river crossing at Muleford, now Milford, was also used in those times. The date for the establishment of the village of Duffield can be narrowed down to Saxon times since the Saxon Earl Siward Barn, held the manors of Duffield, Breadsall, Morley and Markeaton, which proves the existence of the manor and village of Duffield in the late 11th century. In 1068 Saxon Earl Siward Barn joined forces with Earls Morcar and Edwin in an unsuccessful rebellion against William the Conqueror who put down the rebellion with such ferocity and laid waste to the rebel lands. Duffield, being part of Siward's domains must have suffered this retribution, Siward's lands were confiscated and redistributed to the Norman, Hugh de Abrincis. Hugh de Abrincis was later granted larger domains in Cheshire and surrended the Honor of Tutbury, (which included the Manor of Duffield) back to the King, William the Conqueror, who bestowed it on Henry de Ferrers. In Norman times Duffield's importance grow, with its location being the main approach to Duffield Frith, a Royal Forest approx. 30 miles in circumference, which was well stocked with deer, survey of the lands were taken every 3 years and in 1560 there were 12,000 Oak trees in the Frith although 27 years later there were only half as many. Read on…