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Grayingham in the Past

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Early History St.Radegunda's Church The Croft

The Name 'Grayingham'

One possibility for the origin of the name is from an early grange, barn or storehouse for corn, and the spelling of the name in the Domesday Book lends weight to this explanation. However the name as it appears in many later documents suggests a word of three syllables, with the possible explanation that it was the home of the Grayings, decendants of some early Anglian settler named Gra or Gray.

The following are some variations of the spelling as found in medieval documents:

In later times the name has usually been spelled Grayingham or Graingham, both probably trisyllabic.

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Early History

Immediately before the Norman Conquest the three principal landowners of Grayingham were Earl Edwin of Mercia, whose Manor of Kirton extended into the parish; Aldene, who also had land at Bigby, Keelby, Ulceby, Worlaby and other places; and Eddeva, who had Manors at Brocklesby, Kettleby, Melton Ross, and Torrington.

Entries in the Domesday Book regarding Grayingham refer to lands of the King in the Manor of Chirchetone (i.e. Kirton) - 4 'carucates'; of the Bishop of Lincoln - 1 'carucate'; and of Ernest de Burun - 1 'carucate', (a 'carucate' was an area of land).
This shows that most of the Parish was royal property, attached to the important Manor of Kirton.

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St Radegunda's Church

St.Radegunda, Grayingham The tiny church, with it's massive tower, dates back to the 12th century. There has been a church on the site since Saxon times, but it was rebuilt in 1797 with further alterations at the beginning of the 20th century. It can seat 90 people.

The origin of the church's unusual name dates from the foundation of the Trinitarians, the Order of the most Holy Trinity for the redemption of captives. This order was formed by St. John de Matha, who was born in Faucon provence in France in 1154, and Felix de Valois.
They apparently travelled to Rome to obtain the approbation of the Pope, Innocent III, for ratification of the order. They placed themselves under the protection of St. Radegunda, the daughter of Berthaire, king of the Thuringians.
Berthaire was killed by his brother, Hermannfried, who took Radegunda and educated her, but was himself slain by the Frankish kings Theuderich and Clotaire in 564. Clotaire took Radegunda captive and later married her.
The legend surrounding her life tells of her hearing the voices of prisoners weeping in their fetters and imploring pity. Remembering her early sorrows, she wept and, not knowing how to help them, she began to pray. The prisoners' fetters were miraculously broken and they were freed from captivity.
Afterwards Radegunda became a nun and founded a convent at Poitiers, where she lived in sanctity ministering to the poor. She died on the 13th August, 587.

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The Croft

The Croft, Grayingham Standing in it's large grounds opposite Church Lane is The Croft,a charming cottage which was once the village Post Office (there isn't one now).
The original character of the house has been retained although it has been modernised. The part originally used as the post office is now a small but elegant dining room, and one of the three sitting rooms was converted from a pigsty!

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