Blakesley
Blakesley

Origin: The wood of the black wolf.

Domesday: Segrim holds of the count 1 hides. The soke is the kings in Greens Norton. There is land for 3 ploughs. 1 plough only is there, with 2 villans and 2 slaves, and 2 acres of meadow. It was worth 10s; now 20s. He held it TRE.

Robert holds of the earl half a hide in Blakesley. There is land for 1 ploughs. There 2 villans have a plough. It was and is worth 8s. Ketil held it. The soke belongs to Greens Norton.

Walter hold of William 2 hides. There is land for 5 ploughs. In demesne are 2 ploughs and 2 slaves; and 5 villans with 2 ploughs. There is a mill rendering 5s and 1 acre of meadow. There is woodland 3 furlongs in length and 1 furlong in breadth. It was worth 10s; now 40s.

 

The wolf has long gone but a beautiful village remains. Virtually entirely built from the local rust red stone there are some impressively large houses, there was clearly wealth in the area 350 years ago.

 

A well preserved (inside and out) church stands on the edge of the village and contains an attractive wall monument to the Watts family. Unfortunately the monument has been beheaded, presumably in the puritan era.

 

Just down the road is the hamlet of Woodend which looks as if it has been unchanged since it was built.

 

blakesley next to church
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My 7th great grandfather John Wait died in Blakesley but I am having problems sorting out where he came from (I think Cold Higham). There were Waits in Blakesley in 1470 when John Wayte (a different one) was a witness on a deed of the Grammar School foundation trustees.

If you come across any Waits pre 1750 in the general vicinity please let me know:

 

address

For a description of the village in the late 1800s a Whelans Directory of 1874 is attached.