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Winflaed

12/08/22
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Sometime during the Anglo-Saxon period (after the Romans but before the Norman Conquest) there was a woman called Winflaed working the land on the Cheshire Sandstone Ridge.

Such people have left us very few records: no portraits, no biographies, just the echoes of their names.

We know of Winflaed because of the small village of 'Willington', lying in the folds of the Sandstone Ridge near Kelsall.

This ancient village appears in the Domesday Book (listed as 'Winfletone'). It's place-name means 'village of a woman called Winflaed'; from the old English personal name 'Winflaed', and the suffix 'tun' for farm or village.

Whilst laying claim to being one of the earliest named women who lived on the Ridge, we might also consider Winflaed as an exceptional person in the neighbourhood since the farm she worked was recorded in ownership to her; not to any man. The biographical record in history is heavily weighted towards men. Ownership by women may only have been due to widowhood but Winflaed made a lasting impression on the locality in her own right, and we can thank the recorders of the Domesday Book for her memory.

This week's 'Footprint' provided by Peter Snape, Volunteer