Ancient Monuments

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Medieval settlement of Southorpe and field system, north east of Southorpe Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Hornsea, East Riding of Yorkshire

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Latitude: 53.9001 / 53°54'0"N

Longitude: -0.1813 / 0°10'52"W

OS Eastings: 519592.473151

OS Northings: 446408.846929

OS Grid: TA195464

Mapcode National: GBR WR5B.JP

Mapcode Global: WHHG6.57XH

Entry Name: Medieval settlement of Southorpe and field system, north east of Southorpe Farm

Scheduled Date: 14 October 1954

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1003469

English Heritage Legacy ID: ER 162

County: East Riding of Yorkshire

Civil Parish: Hornsea

Built-Up Area: Hornsea

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): East Riding of Yorkshire

Church of England Parish: Hornsea St Nicholas

Church of England Diocese: York


The monument includes the remains of a medieval settlement, known as Southorpe, and part of its associated field system, situated on gently rising ground on the south side of Hornsea Mere. The settlement is visible as a series of well defined earthworks, standing up to 1.5m high including hollow-ways running both east to west and north to south marking former lanes flanked by raised house platforms representing the sites of former buildings and small farmsteads, each with attached enclosures outlined by low banks. Around the occupation area there are the earthworks of part of the associated medieval field system surviving as ridge and furrow. Documentary sources indicate that the settlement, was in existence by 1086 and cottages were recorded here until the 17th century. However, by 1809 the settlement had become abandoned. Towards the centre of the monument there is a World War II pillbox.

PastScape Monument No:- 80651 (settlement), 913339 (pillbox)
NMR:- TA14NE5 (settlement), TA14NE16 (pillbox)
Humber SMR No:- 3549

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

The village, comprising a small group of houses, gardens, yards, streets, paddocks, often with a green, a manor and a church, and with a community devoted primarily to agriculture, was a significant component of the rural landscape in most areas of medieval England, much as it is today. Although the sites of many of these villages have been occupied continuously down to the present day, many others declined in size or were abandoned throughout the medieval and post-medieval periods, particularly during the 14th and 15th centuries. As a result over 2000 deserted medieval villages are recorded nationally. The reasons for desertion were varied but often reflected declining economic viability, changes in land use such as enclosure or emparkment, or population fluctuations as a result of widespread epidemics such as the Black Death. As a consequence of their abandonment these villages are frequently undisturbed by later occupation and contain well-preserved archaeological deposits. Because they are a common and long-lived monument type in most parts of England, they provide important information on the diversity of medieval settlement patterns and farming economy between the regions and through time. Field systems are an important part of medieval rural economy, and should be considered in context with their associated rural settlements.
The medieval settlement of Southorpe is well preserved and a good example. Important archaeological and environmental information survives undisturbed: this will provide valuable evidence relating to the construction, use and abandonment of this settlement, as well as contributing to the diversity of medieval settlements surviving nationally. Its situation on the southern bank of one of the regions most important bodies of fresh water adds to its interest, as it will provide information about the relationship of the settlement with the adjacent mere, historically an important source of water, food and building materials. The survival of part of the associated field system also adds to the importance of the monument.

Source: Historic England

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