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Anglo-Saxon Hockliffe

The Bedfordshire Historic Environment Record [HER] contains information on the county's historic buildings and landscapes and summaries of each entry can now be found online as part of the Heritage Gateway website . The only Anglo-Saxon archaeological find so far made in the parish is an brooch found to the west of Hockliffe House Farm. This copper-alloy annular, or ring, brooch is thought to date from the 5th or 6th centuries [HER 19059]

The first known written reference to Hockliffe is in the will of Aetheling Aethelstan, the son of King Aethelred II, better known as King Aethelred the Unready [978-1013, 1014-1016]. Under the terms of the will, which Aethelstan had drawn up on 25th June 1014 while on his deathbed, he gave his lands at "Hogganclyfe" to Siferth, or Sigeferth, a brother of Aelfgifu of Northampton, the first wife of King Cnut [1016-1035]. Sigeferth and his brother Morcar are together described in the Anglo-Saxon Chroncle as "chief thegn of the Seven Burghs" (Derby, Leicester, Lincoln, Nottingham, Stamford, Torksey and York). After Cnut was forced to flee England on the return from exile of King Aethelred Sigeferth and Morcar were both murdered at Oxford. In defiance of his father Aethelstan's brother Edmund, the future King Edmund Ironside [1016] married Sigeferth's widow, Ealdgyth. After Sigeferth's death his lands, presumably including Hockliffe, were seized by King Aethelstan. It is not know what happened to Hockliffe subsequently, but by 1066 it was in the hands of "Anschil" (Eskil of Ware).