Sibford in the Domesday Book

King William rewarded many of the knights who had come over from Normandy with him with gifts of land. One of these was Henry de Ferrières, and the Domesday Book tells us that he owned something like 1,000 acres at Sibford Ferris. Across the valley at Sibford Gower there were two landowners. One, William, son of Corbician, had about 1,000 acres, and the other, with a similar amount of land, was Hugh de Grantmesnil (or Grentemaisnil).

From the Norman baron de Ferrières, came the place-name Sibford Ferris. A charter of 1216 says that “Sibilla, Countess of Ferriers holds land at Sibford”. The same document says that “Thomas Goher holds land there” but Thomas Goher’s land was actually at Sibford Gower, and this may have been how that village acquired its name.

Where the name Sibford originated is wrapped in obscurity: perhaps Sheep-ford, there being a ford between the two villages, or Sibba’s Ford, the name given in a document of 1153. For centuries the locals have called the place Zibberd; this may be found on old maps.

Burdrop derives its name from the Old English for the hamlet near the burh (a fortified place or manor). Until times within living memory Sibford Gower and Burdrop were known as Broad Sibford, and Sibford Ferris was Little Sibford.