Littleborough

St Nicholas, Littleborough, is now cared for by the Churches Conservation Trust.

Littleborough used to be the Roman town of Segelocum, sitting astride the Roman road that ran from Danum (Doncaster) to Lindum (Lincoln) and defending the river crossing there.

The Roman name comes from the 'Celtic' word 'sego' meaning 'strength', and the Latin 'locum' meaning 'place'. It certainly had a strong position, situated on a hook in the river that meant it was defended on three sides by water. The river has since changed course, and so no longer runs along what would once have been the south-west part of the town. Littleborough used to defend the Trent River river crossing, which was by means of a ford which led to Marton. The town sat on the high ground from where the church is now and to the north-west.

It seems that the ford was improved by being surfaced in Roman times with large flags of stone. Timber uprights marked the edges of the caus Littleborough used to defend the Trent River river crossing, which was by means of a ford which led to Marton. The town sat on the high ground from where the church is now and to the north-west.eway, presumably to keep the people crossing the river on the right course. The ford was removed during navigation works in the 1820s.

The church of St Nicholas (built in 1033) made use of recycled Roman tiles when it was built. The tiles were used as levelling courses. The site of the Roman town is a Scheduled Ancient Monument, which means it is very important both locally and nationally, and is protected by law.

When the town changed its name from Segelocum to Littleborough is not known, but in the Domesday book it is recorded as 'Litelburg' and the village belonged to the King. The element 'borough' in the name comes from the Old English 'burgh' which is often used to places where there are remnants of Roman encampments or towns. The medieval name therefore refers to the Roman town having shrunk to just a few houses. It may have also been known by another name; it is generally accepted that Littleborough may be the location of 'Tiowulfingacaestir' where Bishop Paulinus conducted a mass baptism in around 628 AD.

The Domesday Book says the following about the village:

'In Littleborough [are] 4 bovates of land to the geld. Land for 1 plough. There 14 sokemen and 2 villans and 4 bordars have 5 ploughs. Meadow 3 furlongs and 10 virgates long and 2 furlongs broad. This sokeland is worth 10s.'

There is a ferry marked at Littleborough on Chapman's map of 1774, which linked the village to Marton, and was used until fairly recently.