Until Whitleigh was developed after the Second World War the basic layout of the manor had altered little since the Domesday Survey with its manor house and two farms. It would doubtless have been almost recognisable to Robert d’Albermarla who became its new Norman lord after the Conquest over nine hundred years ago.
The pub, which is built virtually on the site of one of the old farm buildings, is named after this major local landowner. However Albermarle doesn’t appear to have lived here, rather he established a family base for himself in Stoke - hence Stoches D’Abermala...Stoke Damerel where his family remained until the 1300s. Whitleigh itself he let to a tenant - Osulf.
There is incidentally a story that d’Albamarla was named after his shield which bore an image of a white blackbird - an albino merle, although the more favoured suggestion is that his name came from Aumale in eastern Normandy where his family had its roots.