(Notes based chiefly on The History & Antiquities of Leicester, John Nichols Vol IV Part III) That it was possible to carry out the Domesday Survey so speedily is a revealing comment upon the organized state of Pre-Conquest society. Tax declared at the beginning of the week was being gathered by the week’s end.
In the reign of Edward the Confessor, six ploughlands, held by Ingenulf, were farmed using four ploughs: one of which was in the demesne. Ten socmen (freemen ,who held tenure in return for determined services) and eleven bordars (lowest rank of villeins, who rendered menial service for a small cottage) farmed using the other three. Thus the population of the village was reckoned as twenty-one males. In 1066 the village was valued at 5s; by 1086 it had risen to 40s.
Comparisons with neighbouring villages raise interesting questions.
Pre-Conquest Donington le Heath with a population of one villein possessed six ploughs and was valued at 20s. However by 1086 there were no ploughs and its value had dropped to zero.
Heather with a population of four villeins possessed two ploughs in 1066, but had only one after 1086 and its value had only risen from 16s to a mere 20s.
Odstone that owned no plough in 1066 had acquired one by the later date. With a population of three freemen its value remained constant at 10s.
Ravenstone, with no population record lost its plough. The value fell from 15s to 12d and by 1086 the land was classed as “waste”.
To the south-east, Bagworth had a population of thirty-one, possessed seven ploughs and its value increased from 40s to £4. Nichols notes that the socage of Ibstock belonged to Bagworth: Soca jacet ad superiorem villam, Bagworde. All these settlements were without woodland, except Bagworth which had 720acres.
Two Granges: (1) “Ibstock” and (2) “Pickering’s” (1) Near the time of the Conquest, the lords of Ibstock were members of the ancient family of the Burtons, who took their name from the town of Burton upon Dunsmore. In the reign of Henry I or early in the reign of Stephen, Robert de Burton granted a third part of the village with the site of the Grange to the monks of the newly founded Abbey of Garendon. The grant was made with the consent of Robert’s chief lord, Geffrey de Clinton, chamberlain to the Earl of Warwick, and the deed witnessed by Robert de Clinton, Bishop of Lichfield 1128-1149, the seat of that diocese being at Chester.
The Garendon Chartularies record that the monks of that Abbey owned four ploughlands, with 17 acres of land in the fields of Ibstock; and half a ploughland in ali> Ybestoc>. Three of the ploughlands had been given by Robert de Burton in return for the 30 marks of silver paid as a ransom for Robert’s release from captivity; and half a ploughland he gave them when his brother Ingenulf was received as a monk into the Abbey. Richard, Robert’s son, gave another half ploughland for 6 marks of silver paid for his ransom.
By Inspeximus Charter (i.e. a charter in which the grantor avouches to have inspected an earlier charter) it appears that the Ibstock Grange of the Abbey and Convent of Garendon had an inclosure (sic) about it of four carucates (a Danish land measurement) and thirteen acres of land given them by Reginald the son of Ingenulf de Ibstoke, with the permission of Henry the son of Richard de Burton.
Through the daughters and co-heirs of this Henry the manor at Ibstock descended to Bertram de Garshale and Robert de Verdon, hence the modern replicas of stained glass coats of arms in the windows of the church.
According to Guy Paget, D.L., F.R.Hist.S., & Lionel Irvine M.B.E., M.A.Oxon., in The County Books: Leicestershire (1950), p198, Henry VI granted Thomas and John Paget the Grange Farm, “… which has been in the family since … 1456.”
A later name-sake of Thomas Paget (1732-1814) and co-experimenter in farming methods was the more famous Robert Bakewell (1725-95) of Dishley. Paget was both a leading breeder of cattle and an experimenter in methods of husbandry. Nichols quotes from A Survey of Midland Counties by Mr Marshall, Vol. I. P. 287:
“Mr Paget, of Ibstock, is a proficient in the science and art of watering grasslands on the modern principle. He cuts a considerable quantity of hay, annually, from lands which have received no other manure than water during the last 40 years.” This “modern principle” involved the watering of land, by means of a series of dams and rams, and the “sod draining” by means of subsoil tile drains. At the beginning of the twenty-first century, one of Paget’s water rams was restored by Mr Andrew Mosley, the owner of land which previously formed part of the Grange estate. The foundry that had supplied parts for Paget’s rams not only still existed , but its owners were able to produce the original drawings and so to cast replacement parts. Paget and Irvine, quoting from Beauties of England and Wales, Vol. 4, Leicestershire, published about 1807, give a detailed account of Thomas Paget’s 1793 cattle sale.
(2)The following record may be found under “Swinfen Grange alias
In 1140 Robert de Burton granted the Abbey and Convent of Garendon the said Grange. By 1346 it was valued at 6s 8p. In 1531 it was leased to John Pykeringe. After 1696 Pickering Grange became distinct from Swinfen Grange, when the tenants were named as George Thirlby and Lawrence Chiswell.
At an unspecified date between 1158 and 1189, Baldric being archdeacon of Leicester, the monks of Garendon made an agreement with Robert, Rector of Ibstock, for the annual payment of two silver marks in lieu of tithes for all their land within the parish. In 1220 Thomas, having been instituted into the benefice by Hugh, Bishop of Lincoln, had the cure of souls at Ibstock together with two chapels at Huclescote and Dunton for which he was paid 12s. Each chapel was to be served from the mother church three days a week. The Rector also received forty shillings a year from the monks of Garendon in lieu of tithes from two Granges within his parish. In 1281 there was a renunciation by the Rector to the monks.
The 1589 Title Deeds of Pickering Grange may be inspected at Leicestershire and Rutlland County Record Office, ref. 44128/516.
Today (2005) much of the land of the two Granges forms part of the National Forest.
Enclosures No record referring to the Parish of Ibstock has been found for enclosures following The Black Death, nor for the more formal enclosures carried out under the Tudors.
John Nichols states: “In 1774, an act was passed for dividing and inclosing, within the township and liberty of Ibstock, the several open, uninclosed fields, wastes, and commons, computed to contain together about 1200 acres.” He gives details of how the Rector, Edward Darell, was compensated for the loss of his glebe and how “two acres are directed to be set out for the repair of roads”. In the same paragraph, he indicates that a parcel of land called Nether Field adjoined Mr Astley’s farm at Odstone.
A Photo-copy of Enclosure Maps, ref. PP 284 and a Plan of the inclosed estate Ibstock Grange, dated 1775, ref. PP 454, may be inspected at Leicestershire and Rutlland County Record Office, as may the Inventory, DE 390/42, of household goods bought at William Chiswell’s sale at Ibstock Grange in 1823.
Population: 1066 to 1801 It has already been noted that in 1066 the tally of males in the village was twenty-one. An Itinerary of 1281 states that Ibstock, Huclescote, Dunington, and Stanton sub Barton answered collectively as one village. By 1564 there were 29 families in Ibstock; and 35 in Huglescote and Donington, yet in 1630 there was not one resident freeholder in Ibstock. In 1776 there were 30 person in the Ibstock workhouse. The Census of 1801 records that Ibstock contained 148 houses, inhabited by 152 families, comprised of 379 males and 384 females, totalling 763 persons, of whom 270 were agricultural workers and 105 were employed in trade or manufacturing.