High Needham/Needham Grange
OS Map of England and Wales 1842 to 52
Needham Grange is thought to be the place from which the Needham name originated and is currently in the hamlet of High Needham. High Needham is 8 miles from Buxton and 12 miles from Tideswell. Because one branch of the Needham's became the Earl of Kilmorey, the Needham ancestry along this line is well documented (1,2) back to the 12 th century.
Needham Grange /High Needham
Rodger de Stanton married the heiress of the Manor of High Needham early in the mid 13 th century and as was quite common at the time took, what we would call, the surname of the heiress i.e. de Nedeham (of Nedeham). It must be remembered that few people had surnames at this time and that the official court language was French, following King Harold's defeat by William the Conquer. Additionally, there are a number of variants to the surname we know as Needham; Nedeham and Nedham being the most common early variants.
High Needham is in the Wapentake of Wirksworth and the parish of Hartington. It appears on a number of old maps variously named as Nedham, Nedeham Grange, Nedam Grange, High Nedham and High Needham, its current name.
Rodger de Nedeham had at least two sons, William and Henry, and the eldest William had a son John who was his heir. John's heir was Thomas and from Thomas the Needham splits. Thomas had two sons, Thomas and William, who both married well. William, the younger of the two married Alice Cranage and moved to Cheshire; from William and Alice are descended the Earls of Kilmorey. Thomas married Maud Mellor in 1354, who was the heiress of Thornsett and Longdendale manor. As a consequence, the main Needham family lines moved away from High Needham as Thomas and Maud made Thornsett their main residence.
The current house is thought to be 17 th century with buildings from the 16 th and 19 th century in its courtyard (3). There is evidence of mediaeval structures in the adjacent fields (3) and speculation that it could have been a monastic farm, similar to neighbouring Cronkston and Pilsbury Granges (3); but as yet this remains unproven.
You can see pictures of Needham Grange and High Needham through the following link on Images of Needham Grange. A history of the Grange has been written by the present owner, (3)
1 The Official Website of Burke's Peerage 1826-2016:http://www.burkespeerage.com/ .
2. The Complete Peerage 2nd Edition, G E Cokayne ed by the Hon, Vicary Gibbs et al. .
3. History of Needham Grange including images: needham-home.co.uk http://www.needham-home.co.uk/id4.htm