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The Origins of Newbiggin

The name of Newbiggin suggests that it was settled somewhat later than Thoralby, since it means ‘new building’. The village must have been established after the Norman Conquest because it was not mentioned in the Domesday Book, whereas smaller settlements like Croxby and Eshington were. 'Bigging' is a Middle English word that did not come into use until around 1150. So, Newbiggin will have been settled some time between 1150 and 1298, the date of the oldest surviving documentary reference to it. The village appears to have been established to house the foresters responsible for the maintenance of Bishopdale Chase, which was held by the lords of Middleham and reserved for hunting. Similar foresters’ villages were established in the 12th or 13th century at Bainbridge for the Forest of Wensleydale and at Buckden for Langstrothdale Chase.

See Medieval Newbiggin for more detailed information. [Under construction].

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