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Barnby in the Willows, Nottinghamshire

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The village of Barnebi appeared in the Domesday Book. The land was divided between two main landholders. The village was 'in the fee' of Bishop Odo of Bayeux. The other main landholder was the Bishop of Lincoln.

There was 'a priest and a church in which lay half a bovat and one mill and thirty acres of meadow and a small wood'. A bovat was a piece of land, which could be cultivated by one ox in a day. The mill was a water mill and is believed to have been just south west of the Church on the River Witham.

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In such a small community as Barnby-in-the-Willows the Church has always played an important part in the life of the village. There has probably been a Church on the present site of All Saints’ Church since shortly after the founding of the village by the Vikings in the late 9 th century. The present Church, dating from the early 14 th century, was developed through its first few hundred years but has changed little during the last 500 years.

Barnby is mentioned in several sources from the 12th century. In one, the following were mentioned as citizens of the time: Adam Persona (Parson) of Barnebi and Henrico Capellanode of Barnebi witnessed at Kelham a deed of gift to Rufford Abbey.

In 1272 the village was noted as Barneby Juxta Neuwerk. The Church appears in Archbishop Romeyne's register, 'for in 1287 Romeyne gave receipt to the Dean of Bingham for £10, received by the hands of Laurence de Nottingham, Clerk, from the fruits of the Church of Barnebi'.

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The register also tells of the great legal tussle between Andrew de Neville and John de Dyve starting in 1287 over the right of advowson (the right of making the appointment of clergy for a vacant position). The dispute was decided in the de Neville family's favour by 1303 and Andrew's successor, Jollanus de Neville, was the likely builder of the Church that stands today. It is thought that the current Church was built on the site of the earlier church, mentioned in the Domesday Book.
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