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History of Sandy - The Middle Ages

Sandy History


History of Sandy:The Middle Ages

After the Romans

Given Sandy's location, relatively flat heath-land in a river valley and also on the " Greensand Ridge, it is no surprise that the area developed very much on the lines of agriculture, together with ideal communications for moving the produce to market.


Sandy is referred to in the Domesday Book, as Sandeia, a derivation from the Old English Sandieg, meaning a sand-island. Indeed Sandy is dominated by an outcrop known locally as the Sand Hills, from which a fine view of the town and surrounding area can be had. In 1086 Sandy was listed in the Domesday Book as being held by Eudo Fitzhubert, who is likely to have been the Saxon tenant. He was probably also known as Eudo the Dapifer, who was a High Steward for William the Conqueror, and based in Colchester Castle. The name 'Dapifer', is commemorated in a local street name.


Michael Rutt, a local historian, has published some information on the derivation of local place names on their website. Click on the link to read his piece on Sandy Place Names.


There were also two mills listed, and both of these would have been water-powered. There are still references to one of them - "Mill Lane", but the mill has gone now, and been replaced by a modern apartment block. The mill race can still be clearly seen, and this runs along the boundary of Sandye Place. Sandye Place is believed to be sited on the location of a Danish camp, set up on the borders of the Danelaw.


The Manor of Sandy extended to some 4000 acres in the area, but had been divided into smaller estates by the end of the 13th Century; Sandy under William de Beauchamp; Hazells under Chicksands Priory and Girtford under Cauldwell Priory.

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