The earliest trace of habitation in Salford is a Roman quern stone. The parish was clearly inhabited in the Dark Ages though it is first mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086. It lay, like its surrounding Bedfordshire neighbours, in the Hundred of Manshead.
The name Salford means "willow ford". The name is first recorded, as Saleford, in the Domesday Book of 1086. Salford was owned in 1086 by Hugh de Beauchamp, later created Baron of Bedford. He had five hides and the manor included 12 villagers, 1 smallholder and 4 slaves. The manor owned a mill, worth 9/4 and woodland for 150 pigs. In 1066 the manor had belonged to Thorkell, a thegn of King Edward the Confessor, and was then worth £5. By the time Hugh acquired it the value had sunk to £3 due to the depredations of William I's armies as they moved north to crush rebellion. By 1086 the value had risen slightly to £4.
The overlordship of the manor remained with the Barony of Bedford; John de Steyngreve was overlord in 1275 and William de Patishull in 1366. No tenant of Hugh de Beauchamp was mentioned in the Domesday Book but the manor was held in the 12th century by Nigel de Salford. His son Hugh held the manor by 1199 as Walter, son of Gregory quitclaimed a virgate of land in the parish to him in this year. Hugh's son Nigel held the manor in 1240 and John between 1275 and 1303, being succeeded by his son, another Nigel. In 1346 the holder was Peter de Salford and was last recorded in 1366.
By the time the manor is next mentioned, 1428, it is described as late belonging Ankareta, wife of Thomas Drakelowe. In 1438 All Souls College, Oxford was founded and Salford manor formed part of its endowment from that time on.