Domesday Book of 1086 was a great exercise in recording all of the lands and
settlements of early England (see www.domesdaybook.net
However, the land at what now comprises the parish of Bagnall was not recorded as a settlement at that time but was noted as being largely wasteland containing one or two ploughlands, being a part of the Parish of Endon. Please disregard some incorrect references to the place name being in existence "long before the Norman Conquest of 1066" published in some genealogy bucketshop websites such as www.houseofnames.com.
It was not much longer before reference was made to the existence of a settlement at Bagnall in the annals of an individual who took his name from the village of Stanley which is adjacent to Bagnall. He was called Adam DE STANLEIGH and was born in 1126 in Hooton, Cheshire, England, 38 years after the Domeday Book was completed. (He has Ancestral File number 8XKQ-8C - the LDS Ancestral file shows his name as William.) He is later recorded as succeeding to the Manor of Bagnall.
following link contains a reference to this:
Early evidence of an individual adopting the Bagnall surname from the settlement at the location occurred when William de Bagenold was a witness to the deed of gift of Ela de Aldethelegh to Trentham Priory circa 1154 (source: Dugdale's Monasticon vol.6, page 397).
The earliest form of place-name is comprised of two Anglo Saxon elements.
The Oxford Dictionary of English Place-names, A D Mills, (Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-280074-4) states:
"Bagnall, Staffs. Badegenhall 1273. Probably 'nook of land of a man called Badeca'. Old English Pers. name (genitive -n) +halh.
The etymologist Duigan in his "Notes on Staffordshire Place-names" suggests Bacga as the personal prefix, and the Old English word holt meaning woodland as opposed to halgh as above, hence BACGAHOLT (Bacga's Woodland).
Eckwall sees the first element as Old English Bodeca as the personal noun, with the second syllable being either halh or holt as above.
is not difficult therefore to speculate that the earliest place
names could have been any combination of Bacga's or Badeca's
halh or holt, hence:
Bacgaholt, or Bacgahalh, or Badecaholt, or Badecahalh.
this part of Staffordshire was thickly wooded and as Bagnall
is located among small valleys and cloughs it would seem that
either root is appropriate.
Early Village History
Early spellings of the place name are BAGGENHALL in 1204, BAGINHOLT in 1271, BADEGENHALL in 1273, and BAGENHOLT in 1281.
Evidence of very early of human occupation in the area was uncovered in July 1964 when a prehistoric perforated stone axe hammer was discovered at nearly Tomkin. This is displayed in the Hanley (Stoke-on-Trent) museum (see: "Where is Bagnall").
The siting of the early settlement at Bagnall probably owes its origins to some sort of religious observance, it being at a place where moorland routes converged. It was certainly on the old salt route to Weston-on-Trent.
A cross was erected to guide travellers and to indicate a well-worn route. Known locally as the Market Cross (or Butter Cross), it was sited on what became the Village Green. A cross in the form of a War memorial is on the Green today.
By 1563, ten household comprised the, by now, village of Bagnall. In the Hearth Tax return of 1666 this had climbed to nineteen, and increase of nine (or approximately forty persons) in 103 years. By this time however, holders of Bagnall related surnames had dispersed from the village, and none were shown in the return. The family name of Murhall had been the most prominent in the village from 1253.
1890 Map of Bagnall Area