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Immediately before the NORMAN CONQUEST, the Manor of SOUTH CROXTON was held by GODRIC, who tenanted the land from EDWARD THE CONFESSOR at a rent of five shillings per year. At the time of DOMESDAY BOOK in 1086, this tiny settlement is listed as being held by WALTER DE CONSTANTIS, BISHOP OF LINCOLN and ROBERT (or possibly ROGER) DE TODENI. The land survey of 1124-9 gives the principal landowner as WILLIAM DE ALBINI. During the reign of HENRY III, SOUTH CROXTON was given to HUBERT DE BURGH, the King's Chief Justice, who became Earl of Kent in 1227. The next known Lord of the Manor was PETER DE LINCOLN in 1240, who held the Manors of SOUTH CROXTON, Lowesby and Newbold as a single village. Seven years later, some of the land that makes up present day SOUTH CROXTON was leased by SAMPSON DE LEKE to "the Nuns of Stamford" who were attached to the Convent of Malton. By 1297, the whole of the Manor was under the control of RICHARD DE ASHBY.

There is archaeological evidence of a moated site close to the church and the Manor Farm, but excavation has proved that this is NOT the site of a Manor House. It was built in the 15th century and probably formed part of the manorial enclosures and gardens. There are, however, considerable traces of an old village site to the north-west of the church.

A Muster Roll of 1540 gives the name of the village as "CROSSON" and lists it as owing two archers and seven byllmen for war service. In addition to these, "the town shall find horse and harness for two byllmen" - quite a number considering that the whole population of the village in 1564 was just 32 families.

SOUTH CROXTON remained very small throughout the Middle Ages and by 1670, it contained 60 households. By 1642, Lord of the Manor was Valentine Allen and the population remained fairly constant until the coming of enclosure in the 18th century. This was rather unusual in SOUTH CROXTON in that it was enclosed in two stages. The first came in 1757 when the Nether Lordship of 611 acres was enclosed without an Act of Parliament. This was only possible because all of the land was under the control of one man - Charles Sedley. Consequently there were no legal disputes to sort out and the whole procedure went through very quickly. The Upper Lordship, however, was not so simple and it was not until 1794 that an Act of Parliament was passed for the remaining 111 acres of SOUTH CROXTON. The village population just after this, in 1801, stood at 100 households.

The area of the village in 1830 was approximately 1,400 acres. REVEREND N P JOHNSON is given as Lord of the Manor and the other two main landowners were GEORGE POCHIN and EDWARD HAWKINS CHENEY. The patron of the rectory was the DUKE OF RUTLAND and there was a glebeland of 115 acres. "Part of it is a peculier, the exempt jurisdiction of which belongs to the Manor of Rothley".

KELLY'S DIRECTORY of 1922 gives the area of the village as 1,663 acres and the population as 211.

The SOUTH CROXTON ARTS FESTIVAL is held every second year and has gained a national reputation for the village.

Places > South Croxton
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Text by Terry Allen
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