While archaeological finds clearly show human beings lived in this area during the Bronze and Iron Ages - i.e. between 2500 BC to the Roman invasion in 43 AD - to understand how the current village itself began it is necessary to turn to evidence provided by the study of place names.
Dr. Cameron of the University of Nottingham believed that the name derived from the Old English Brandsige’s Farm, while Professor Ekwall thought the name meant “a farm by the steep path”. Both agree it derives from the Old English.
In 1897 the Rev. Henry Barker suggested in the Derbyshire Archaeological Journal that the name referred to the settlement of the tribe of Brand.
We must therefore imagine some Anglian settler in the 6th or 7th Century A.D. making his home in this area. Exactly when he did this, and the size of the party making this farming settlement, is a matter for conjecture.
Throughout history, the name has been spelt in a great variety of ways. The earliest record is in Domesday Book 1086, where the spelling is Brazincton which is how it sounded to the clerk who was taking evidence.
Other forms of the name are Brassinton, Bracyngton, and Brassynton, while the abbreviation Brasson is found as early as 1620 in records preserved at Belvoir Castle.
The name Moot Low (near Curzon Lodge) and the name Spellow, now identified with a farm, suggest the existence of village gatherings for legal and perhaps administrative purposes. We can only surmise what were the speeches made at Spellow, “the hill where speeches are made”. But the impression left is of an active community during the Saxon and Danish periods.
The Domesday extract reads as follows: “In Brazincton Siward had 4 carucates of land assessed to the geld. There is land for 4 ploughs. There are now 3 plougs in demesne and 16 villiens and 2 bordars have 6 ploughs and 30 acres of meadow. There is underwood 3 furlongs in length and I in breadth. In the time of King Edward it was worth 6 pounds~’ Now it is worth 3 pounds.”
From this we can deduce that Brassington must have been a hamlet of some prosperity if 18 farm workers had six ploughs between them. The 30 acres of meadow must have occupied a considerable portion of the land available for cultivation, and the underwood refers to the waste woodland.