Saxon Times


It would seem that it was the Saxons who put Pavenham 'on the map'.
It was known back then as Paba's or Papa's Ham......Place names ending in 'ham' are generally thought to belong to an early stratum of English place names and was an often used ending denoting 'home'.   The neighbouring villages of Felmersham, Oakley and Clapham reinforcing this Saxon settlement of the Ouse valley.
Evidence of Vikings has been found at Clapham just a couple of miles along the Ouse from Pavenham, Clapham being included in the Danelaw. The boundary between the two being the river itself in this area although it also followed the line of Watling Street.  But Pavenham seems to have been part of Saxon Mercia and Wessex, at one time ruled by Offa who marked his boundary with Wales with the construction of the great dyke which bears his name and which can still be seen and walked along in places. Offa died in 796ad and was buried at Bedford.
danelaw large mapBedford appears to have had some importance in maintaining the Danelaw Boundary and Pavenham and the other villages would also have been caught up in this when Edward (Alfred's son ) was fighting Danes in North Bedfordshire.  But it was not too long before the Danes were back along the Ouse and causing panic and mayhem. This time under King Canute (or Cnut).  After its violent start, the reign and the country settled down with Saxon and Dane co-existing fairly affably, but with his death and Edward the Confessor enthroned, Saxons increased in supremacy and reasonably peaceful times followed.
Interestingly, Edward's early years were spent in Normandy and his court reflected his Norman leanings. This also sowed seeds of discontent which during his life were supressed but rose up on his death when Harold became king.


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