52 residents #38 Roger de Poitu

I love reading about other people's one-place studies and sit with a degree of jealousy as folk wax lyrical about how their place could be traced back to Roman times or was named in the Domesday book.

Mine has none of that. The Domesday entry for the area which included Springhill reads as below. It is included with land 'between the Ribble and the Mersey', where indeed it is.

Roger of Poitou held the undermentioned land:


Blacheburn: King Edward held Blackburn. 2 hides and 2 carucates of land.
The Church held 2 bovines of this land and St Mary's Church had 2 carucates of land in Whalley exempt from all customary dues.
In the same manor woodland 1 league long and as wide as a hawk's syria.
To this manor or Hundred were attached 28 free men who held 5 and a half hides and 40 carucates of land as 28 manors.
Woodland 6 leagues long and 4 leagues wide.
They were (subject to) the aforesaid customs.


Roger was born c 1058 the third son of Roger of Montgomery II who supported William I in the conquest of England. Roger de Poitou was said to have received the land in gratitude for his father's service during the Norman Conquest. He was made first Duke of Lancaster.

I often wonder what Roger de Poitou felt when he received this unpromising parcel of land far away from anywhere sensible at that time. Was he grateful or did he feel his family's work was under-appreciated? Was he jealous of others who received 'better' (i.e. more income-generating) land elsewhere? Did he even know (or care) Blacheburn existed?

Anyway he didn't hold it long as Domesday continues….

Roger of Poitou gave all this land to Roger of Bully and Albert Grelley. There are as many men as have 11 and a half ploughs, to whom they granted exemption from dues for 3 years. It is therefore not now assessed."

But by 1092 he had gained it back, and by 1102 Henry I granted it to tStephen of Blois after Roger was involved in a failed rebellion against the king. He returned to France and died sometime between 1122 and 1140.

(I'm not going to lie, I have no primary sources for Roger de Poitou and readily available secondary sources, print and online, are contradictory.)