A Brief Early History of Ullesthorpe

A large number of flint tools & flakes have been found in & around Ullesthorpe by the Lutterworth Archaeological Fieldwork Group these indicate there was occupation here throughout the Prehistoric Period. The Corieltauvi tribe occupied this area in the Iron Age & two aerial photographs of fields on the outskirts of the village show possible farmsteads of this period.

The Romans arrived in the 1st Century AD & there is evidence of Roman villas in Bittesby & Claybrooke, we also have the nearby Roman roads of Watling Street & the Fosse, plus the large settlements of Tripontium & Highcross (Venonae). Roman pottery, roof tiles & coins have been found in Ullesthorpe.

With the breakdown of Roman rule a variety of settlers came in from the Continent & Scandinavia. There were several periods of Saxon control of the area and a Saxon loom weight has been found near Bittesby, but a major influence on Ullesthorpe was from the Danes. The name itself is derived from Old Scandinavian & means the outlying farmstead or settlement of a man called Ulfr. The limit of Danelaw was approximately the line of Watling Street hence the names of several other villages in the area that are derived from the Scandinavian language.

Following the invasion in 1066 by the Normans, William Duke of Normandy became King of England & most of the lands were soon granted to his followers. In 1086 he put in hand a survey called the Domesday Book that recorded the economic worth of the nation & who held the land. Ulestorp Mill was valued at 16 pence & Ulestorp was valued at 30 shillings. Bittesby (Bichesbie) was valued at 40 shillings! The mill is the only one listed in the survey for the whole of the Lutterworth area and is of course a water mill.

Around the 13th century there was a manor house on the site of the present Manor Farm, the substantial earthworks still showing in the field below the farm are the remains of fish ponds & garden features associated with the manor house. Fieldwalking in an adjacent field has produced medieval pottery sherds, most of the pottery was produced nearby at Potters Marston.