Barrow upon Humber

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History

Early History

Barrow usually means 'the wood or grove' so the full meaning of the village's name can be translated as 'the wood or grove by the River Humber'. The remains of three boats dating from the Bronze Age (between 2030 and 1680 BC) were discovered near North Ferriby (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ferriby_Boats) indicating, not surprisingly, that the Humber was a well-used highway well before the Roman period.

There is no record of Barrow during Roman times, although Lincoln and York were, of course, important Roman cities and there would have been traffic between the two of them, crossing the Humber at or near South Ferriby.

St. Chad

The local British / Celt population was displaced or absorbed by immigrants from Northern Europe following the Roman retreat. So although there was probably a settlement in or near Barrow for thousands of years the first record we have is of the founding of a monastery in the seventh century by Chad (later St Chad) on land given by Wilfhere, King of Mercia. By this time the Anglo-Saxons were well established and were gradually converting to Christianity.

Chad (died 672) was a prominent Anglo-Saxon churchman, who became abbot of several monasteries, Bishop of the Northumbrians and subsequently ‘Bishop of the Mercians and Lindsey People’. He is credited, along with his brother, Cedd, with introducing Christianity to the area.

The region roughly comprising Lincolnshire would only recently have been absorbed into Mercia, having existed both as a small ‘kingdom’ known as Lindsey and as part of Northumbria, at that time one of the five dominant Anglo-Saxon kingdoms. (See map)

The Danes

The next great change came with the Danish attacks and settlement. Between 865 and 870 the whole of Eastern England fell under Danish control and that included Barrow. Fifty years later, English rule was restored following the expansion of Wessex (under King Alfred and his successors). However, in 1015 this area was subjected to further Danish raids and in the following year the majority of what we now call England was ruled by the Danish king Cnut (Canute). Shortly after his death in 1035, the throne reverted to the Anglo-Saxon line… but by then it was nearly 1066 and more changes were on their way for North Lincolnshire.

History page 2 - Doomsday to Enclosure