Coatham, Cannibalism & The Conqueror

1069  After the Norman Conquest of 1066, Northern rebels massacred the occupying garrison at Durham. William the Conqueror himself took revenge by devastating the whole area between York and Durham. So vicious was this “harrying of the north” in terms of the destruction of livestock and crops that the local inhabitants were reduced to cannibalism  in order to survive. At the time of the Domesday Survey of 1086, much of the area was described as “waste”.

1070  A camp of refuge had been established on Coatham Marshes for those rebels who still refused to submit to the Normans. In January of this year, the Conqueror himself came to Coatham from York, only to find that the rebels had melted away before his arrival.

Highlights in the History of Cleveland

Norman Moorsom


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