Norton Bavant Snow Scene
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Village History - After 1066  

Karlo’s possessions were used to form part of the Norman barony based on Ewyas Castle in the Welsh Marches.  8 other estates in Wiltshire, formerly in the possession of Saxons, were also included.  Another 60 hides, mostly in Herefordshire, completed the barony.  5 hides were regarded as a knight’s fee.

Ewyas Castle was the first Norman stronghold raised in these islands.  It was constructed some years before the Conquest by Normans (sometimes referred to as Frenchmen) brought over by Edward the Confessor to defend the border territory against raids by the wild Welsh.  The chief of these Normans at Ewyas was Osbern Pentecost.  On the return of Earl Godwin and his sons from exile the Norman favourites of Edward the Confessor’s court were driven out of London and they fled to Ewyas and to two other castles in the Welsh Marches.  Later they were forced to flee to Scotland where (as recorded in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle) they were killed to a man fighting for Malcolm, the king of the Scots.

The first Norman baron of Ewyas was a man named Alfred of Marlborough, a nephew of Osbern Pentecost, although his parentage is not known.  In the Domesday Inquest he is shown holding lands in Herefordshire and in Gwent both before and after the Conquest, and as there are two hamlets named Marlborough and Great Marlborough to the south of  Ewyas this is how, most likely, he got his territorial surname.  Not from our Wiltshire Marlborough.  The English spelling of his Christian name suggests that he had at least half English parentage.

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