Donnington, Telford

Donnington is an area / housing estate located in the borough of Telford and Wrekin and ceremonial county of Shropshire, England. The population of Donnington Ward was 6,883 at the 2011 census. Before the Romans arrived in Britain the area around Donnington was a mixture of forest and open rough ground in some respects more suitable to sheep rather than humans. Further down Donnington's low lying valley, north of Donnington, the ground was marshy wetland habitat; today this has been drained for farming. This wet moorland provided protection for pre-Roman Celts living between 300BC and 100AD near the hill fort at the now small settlement of Wall north of Donnington. The original Donnington village was to the northeast of the current centre of Donnington. A map of Shropshire by John Speed from 1610 refers to Donnington as Dunnyton, the ending ington meaning in Anglo Saxon "Dunny's homestead or farm". This farm was most likely leased from the Saxon Minster of St Alkmund's in Shrewsbury who, when the Normans arrived, held the land around Lilleshall (according to the Domesday Survey (1086)). Following the Norman conquest of England in 1066 the land was eventually passed to Godbald, religious adviser to the Norman magnate Roger de Montgomerie, 1st Earl of Shrewsbury; Godbald's descendants, the Belmeis family, endowed the land in 1145 to the Christian Augustinian foundation from North East France who built Lilleshall Abbey. Over 400 years later the dissolution of the monasteries by Henry VIII ended centuries of church dominated society and the land was purchased in 1539 by James Leveson, a Wolverhampton wool merchant and was then passed down his family's inheritance to eventually become part of the Duke of Sutherland's estate. Leveson's descendants over the centuries invested heavily in draining the sodden moors to the north of Donnington so they could be farmed and in mining coal from the Donnington Wood coalfield. Locals, mostly men, would have found work in these enterprises and at the local farms.
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