Madeley is derived from the Saxon, Madanlieg, meaning ‘a clearing in the woods belonging to Mada’ (Mada is a female Saxon name).
Madeley Before It Was Madeley
The local Celtic tribe is believed to have been the Cornovii. They coexisted with the Romans who settled in Britain after 44BC. There is some evidence to suggest that the Romans developed coal workings in the Leycett area. However, no Roman roads or buildings have been discovered locally. In 1817 two vases of Roman Coins were discovered buried at Little Madeley Park Farm, the coins were dated to the 3rd and 4th centuries. No one knows the reason for these coins being hidden and the original owners have yet to come forward to claim them! *** Update; This hoard may have related to another farm, confusingly of the same name, near to Chesterton!
Madeley is recorded in the Domesday Book as being 2,160 acres (8.7 km2) of wood and 4 plough teams.
Lord Stafford’s Rise & Fall.
After 1066 and The Battle of Hastings, William the Conqueror granted land in Staffordshire, including Madeley to Robert de Tosny. de Tosny was based at Stafford and his name became de Stafford and then simply, Lord Stafford. The lands of Madeley would remain in the hands of the de Stafford family for nearly five centuries.
It was the Lord Stafford’s who built the first Madeley Manor and then added to and fortified it.
After a series of marriages, Lord Stafford also held the title of the Duke of Buckingham. However, the then Duke of Buckingham, Edmund Stafford (1477-1521), made the mistake of coming into conflict with Henry VIII (1491-1547). He was arrested and tried for treason. Upon the Duke’s execution in 1521, all the Duke’s land became forfeit to the Crown, including his estates at Madeley.
The first Madeley Old Manor was built by Robert de Stafford, with the local church being founded in 1200. Heighley Castle was built in 1226 by Henry de Audley and ordered to be demolished by Parliamentary committee sitting at Stafford in 1644 to prevent its use by Royalists. Little remains today but some of the ruins are still visible during winter through the vegetation surrounding the area. There is also Madeley Old Hall.
|These pages include text written by Chris Machin & Phil Shaw.
With additions by Andrew T. Finney
Oil Painting (Photo. © Andrew T. Finney)
Further historical pages and documents:
Dates Through Time
Bar Hill (with descriptions)