The village is Maltby. It is situated on the A631, about six or seven miles east of Rotherham in the United Kingdom.
From about the time of the Norman conquest in 1066, through until the Twentieth Century, Maltby had a fairly static population of around 700 – 800 people, but by the mid-1980’s, this had risen to around 20,000. (Current population is xxx,xxx). Maltby has always been a beautiful, if poor, village. However, nowadays, it is not such a village as small town, with it’s sprawling housing estates which accommodate the commuters and the A631 cutting through it’s heart as the main trunk route from the M1 and M18 to the A1.
Maltby has been inhabited from about 1500 BC, but little is known of these early settlements. There is no record of primitive man in this area and until the Iron Age (circa 550 BC – 43 AD), the swamps and forests of the Vale of Trent would have prohibited occupation. There are no records of any cave dwellings, but a few artifacts have been found in the neighboring areas of Tickhill and Laughton.
The British settlements that were around at the time of the Roman Occupation (AD 43 – 410) must have changed with the coming of the Romans. The local Brigantian tribes were fierce and would have resisted the power of Rome. Maltby would have been in the Brigantian orbit. A Roman road has been traced, running in an East – West direction, passing near present-day Maltby. This would more than likely have been used as a local trade route for the lead and silver being mined in Derbyshire, to transport it to the inland port of Bawtry, a few miles East of Maltby.
The Dark Ages
It is suggested that between AD 446 and 554, invitations were made from Sixth Century Britons to Anglo-Saxon adventurers, to help with the defence of their land. So there were still British Christians in England, but were there any in the Maltby area? These British Christians were probably the descendants of people who had already learned of and accepted Christianity before the Roman Mission of Augustine of Canterbury in 597 AD.
In about AD 500, the Angles came from Northern Europe and settled in East and Central South Yorkshire, but we cannot be sure that they came to our remote area, (they may have established a headquarters in nearby Tickhill). Life must have been grim, plagues and destruction resulting in poverty and it was probably the same accross the whole of Europe being so sparsely populated and using very primitive agricultural methods.
Maltby had some distinct economic advantages. There was a swift flowing river in the valley, (now a stream), and this was used to power the water-mills. Water-mills had been known but not widely used in Europe and in the period up to the Norman Conquest their use grew. Doomsday records show about 6,000 in England and Maltby is recorder as having three of them. The buildings and mill-races still remain at Wood Lea, Stone and Roche Abbey.
In 865 AD, the Danes arrived on the Yorkshire coast. Their leader was Halfdene and he based his army in York. Following a prehistoric trackway called the Icknield Way, (which ran quite close to present day Maltby), one of the leaders, Guthrum, led an army from the Midlands to South Yorkshire. It is possible that some of his men settled down to farm the rich Midlands soil. These Danish armies were made up of ‘free’ peasants who remained free when they became farmers.
With its proximety to the Icknield Way, Maltby was open to invaders, two of which succeeded in claiming land in Maltby and nearby Hellaby. These two invaders (belonging to Guthrum’s army), are most likely where the village names came from. Their names were: Mault and Helger and the Danish for farm is ‘bie’ so it is possible that Mault’s bie and Helgers’s bie later became Maltby and Hellaby.
To learn more information about the history of Maltby, please click on the various headings below. They contain history of the place as was researched and written about by the late Cannon Clifford Auckland in a book. On this website formerly, that history was reproduced and published here courtesy of David Auckland, the son of the late Cannon Auckland who gave his permission for the republishing of the book on this site.
I decided to bring the site again by recovering the information from the wayback machine as was previously published on the site.