A  history of the parish

Sproxton is a composite name formed of Norse and Saxon elements, meaning that the place is 'Sprok's tun', 'Sprok' being an Old Swedish personal name, while 'tun' is the Old English for a manor or estate, from which the present-day word 'town' derives. The Domesday Book of 1086 refers to this place as 'Sprotone', but the present-day spelling is first recorded as early as 1166. There are several mentions of Sprotone in the Domesday Book.  The chief landholder was Hugh Musard, who held 8 carucates of land from the Countess Judith. Within this context, there is mention of a mill which was valued at 4s., a meadow of 40 acres, 16 freemen and 5 villagers. Two other landholders in Sprotone were Godfrey de Cambrai and Warin. Godfrey held 2 carucates from the king, and this land included a meadow of four acres and a mill worth 5s 4d. On his land were 7 freemen, a villager and a smallholder. Warin held 3 carucates from Guy de Craon which included a meadow of 15 acres, and on which was a mill worth 4s. His men were 7 freemen and a villager. It will be noted that the names of the landowners are Norman or French, and is indicative that the original English landowner, Algar, had been ejected from his holding. Whether Algar or any other ejected Englishmen stayed here or moved elsewhere is open to question. The total of 38 men with their wives and children amounting to perhaps 150 or more people, suggests that Sproxton was quite well populated at the time of the Norman Conquest in 1066. Although Domesday makes no mention of a church, there is reference to a priest in Sproxton. Two facts however support an early presence of Christianity in the village. The first is the Anglo-Norse wheel-headed cross, probably of the C10 or early C11, which stands in the churchyard, though this does not necessarily denote the existence of a church building. The other is the piece of stone in the west wall of the church's south aisle, which displays Norman zig-zag moulding of the
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Sproxton Sproxton