Wennington is a very interesting place name. It is actually recorded twice in the Domesday Book as ‘Wennigetun’ and ‘Wininctune’ when it was part of lands associated both with Bentham and with Melling and Hornby. Both landowners before the Norman Conquest had Scandinavian names – Ulf (Melling and Hornby) and Ketil (Bentham).
Wennington sits on the River Wenning and the obvious thing to assume is that it is named after the river. However Old Wennington is much closer to the River Greta on the Roman road heading north from Ribchester to Burrow just before it crosses the Greta. In 1227 it was called ‘Old Wenigton’ – so 800 years ago it was considered to be ‘old’! Probably one of the Domesday landowners had Old and one ‘Nether’ Wennington. By 1499 Old Wennington was an eighth part of the manor of Wennington.
It is most likely therefore that Wenning means ‘the people of Wenna’ and so Wennington is the ‘tun’ or larger settlement (possibly with an administrative function) of the people of Wenna. The people living on the land between the Greta and the Wenning would be ‘the people of Wenna’ and the river was named after them – rather than the other way around.
Wennington became part of the lordship of Hornby and for 300 years from 1360 the manor was owned by the Morley family. In the early-mid 1600s the Morleys were fined huge sums of money for being Roman Catholics and also fighting for King Charles I. They eventually sold the estate in 1674.
The image shows the village around 1900-1910.