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Early History

Archaeological evidence, both actual finds and crop marks from aerial photographs, shows evidence of occupation of the Trent Valley since at least the Iron Age, including settlement around Fiskerton and Morton. The early history of both villages was dominated by proximity to the River Trent, with various settlers and invaders arriving along the river.  The area was occupied by the Celtic Coritani tribe when the Romans came in the 1st century AD. The Angles and Saxons followed in the 5th & 6th centuries, the Danes in the 8th & 9th centuries and eventually the Normans.  

Fiskerton’s name shows it was a Saxon settlement, deriving from the old English words “fiscere” and “tun” meaning “the farm of the fishermen” and reflecting the abundance of fish in the nearby rivers Greet and Trent. Morton’s name also derives from old English, meaning the settlement on the moor or “wild land”.

The earliest documentary reference to both villages is in the Southwell Charter.  Fiskerton and Morton were amongst the villages given in 956AD to Oskytel, the Archbishop of York by the Saxon king of Mercia, Edwig, as part of his attempt to strengthen his northern boundary. The area covered by the Charter later became known (in Church history terms) as the Southwell Peculiar, an area shown as prosperous, well-organised and well farmed.

After the Norman invasion, William 1 had all his lands surveyed, basically for the purposes of taxation, and the results were listed in the Domesday Book of 1086.  Both Fiskerton and Morton are mentioned.  The major landowner at this time was Walter d’Aincourt, although the villages still came under the jurisdiction of the Archbishop of York, who was effectively Lord of the Manor.