History

History

In prehistoric times the valley of the Little Stour was a tidal estuary; as it silted up, small settlements were formed beside the river, one of these being Wickham, translated as “a dwelling in a water meadow.” The suffix “breaux” was added later in 1285, when William de Breuse or Braose owned the manor.

In the Beginning

The first mention of Wickham is in 948 when Eadred, King of the English, granted six roods of land to a religious woman named Allfrynne. A document recording this grant can be seen in the British Museum.

At the time of the Domesday Book (1086) the village was well established and the riverside pastures were sufficient for three hundred sheep, which merited special mention. Among other items recorded are two water mills. William the Conqueror gave the manor to his half brother, Odo, Bishop of Bayeaux, one of whose favourite pastimes was hunting; he already owned deer parks nearby (Trenley Park).
The Village retains its medieval pattern, with the Church, manor house, rectory, inn and mill encircling the green, and the Little Stour river flowing behind the cottages in The Street.

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