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A late Anglo-Saxon or early medieval fortified manorial complex to the west of Wadenhoe village, including part of an associated deer park.

A Scheduled Monument in Wadenhoe, Northamptonshire

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Latitude: 52.4383 / 52°26'17"N

Longitude: -0.5193 / 0°31'9"W

OS Eastings: 500753.860437

OS Northings: 283289.787762

OS Grid: TL007832

Mapcode National: GBR FYF.1K2

Mapcode Global: VHFNN.YZB5

Entry Name: A late Anglo-Saxon or early medieval fortified manorial complex to the west of Wadenhoe village, including part of an associated deer park.

Scheduled Date: 13 October 1977

Last Amended: 15 August 2014

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1003628

English Heritage Legacy ID: NN 180

County: Northamptonshire

Civil Parish: Wadenhoe

Traditional County: Northamptonshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Northamptonshire

Church of England Parish: Wadenhoe St Michael and All Angels

Church of England Diocese: Peterborough


The site of a probable late Anglo-Saxon or early medieval fortified manorial complex, including part of an associated deer park, the south side of which contains cultivation strips, surviving as ridge and furrow, as well as possible pillow and mill mounds.

Source: Historic England


The scheduled area includes the earthwork and buried archaeological remains of the fortified Anglo-Saxon or early medieval manorial complex sited on the limestone promontory to the north-east of Wadenhoe church, and also the earthworks and ridge and furrow contained within the south side of the deer park, to the south of the line of the old stream.

The fortified manorial complex occupies the top of a limestone promontory that rises directly from the River Nene to the south and is bounded on the north by the valley of a dry stream bed. The form of the promontory seems to have been enhanced and the slope steepened, while the top is surrounded by a low bank representing the remains of a limestone wall; the enclosed area measures approximately 100 metres from west to east, and at its widest point, about 55 metres from north to south. The boundary wall survives most prominently to the north-west, where the height of the wall is enhanced by a large depression immediately to the south, measuring about 23 x 30 metres. It also survives to the south-west and east, and as a low bank to the west. To the north-east are building platforms, apparently cutting into and butting against the wall. To the south-west of these the geophysical survey undertaken in 1997 identified a building, oriented west to east, interpreted as a hall built in two phases, the later phase with a span of 9.8 metres and with a small square structure attached to its east end, as well as other ancillary structures to the north. Further substantial walls were detected to the east of the hall, while walls found to the north-west, apparently of smaller structures, may belong to service buildings. To the east of these were found robbed walls nearly 2 metres thick forming a 9 metre square; this was interpreted as a tower, of similar dimensions to Longthorpe Tower, near Peterborough, and therefore presumed to perform a similar domestic function.

To the west and north-west the promontory is surrounded by the C13 deer park, part of the north side of which is included in the scheduled area. A path skirting the south side of the fortified enclosure appears to be the continuation of Church Street up to the churchyard, and also possibly to the entrance to the enclosed complex. To the west of the church is an area of ridge and furrow apparently partly enclosed by a low bank to the west and south. The north side of this enclosure seems to be formed by the serrated edge (possibly limestone quarrying) of the upper slope of the dry stream valley. The ridge and furrow runs from west to east, at right angles to the enclosure's west boundary bank; towards the centre is a more substantial baulk, just to the north of which, immediately east of and set against the west boundary bank, is a mound, interpreted as a mill mound. Although this overlies the ridge and furrow, it appears that ploughing continued right up to its base. To the north of this is a long mound, about 10 metres across. Although the RCHME survey plan describes this (and the boundary bank) as a headland, it is more generally interpreted as a pillow mound for the rearing of rabbits. The survey also indicates ridge and furrow to the west of the pillow mound running from north to south, suggesting a fragment of another furlong, but this is only faintly visible on the ground and on recent (2013) aerial photographs. To the south of the south boundary bank the ridge and furrow continues on the same alignment, but less pronounced. Two enclosure field boundaries cross the ridge and furrow and west bank from south-east to north-west, that to the north visible only as a slight bank.

To the north of the dry stream bed the gently sloping ground of the deer park contains very slight evidence of ridge and furrow, cut through at the north corner by quarry pits. This area does not form part of the scheduling.

The scheduled area is drawn to include that area of the promontory thought to contain significant archaeological remains, as well as that part of the associated deer park which contains furlongs of ridge and furrow associated with other earthworks. It takes in a triangle of land, with a bite taken out to the south where the boundary turns inwards to exclude the church and churchyard. To the west, the scheduling boundary is formed by the field boundary just to the east of the Aldwincle Road. From a field boundary to the south it travels north for a distance of about 308m, turning east at the point where it meets the bed of the old stream. From here it follows the stream bed in a straight line for about 418m, turning south where it meets the first village property boundary. It crosses the track where it leaves the village street, and turning west about 4m south of the track, following the curved contour of the south side of the promontory up to the churchyard wall, where it turns in to exclude the churchyard. From the south-west end of the churchyard it follows the contour just above the woodland south-west to meet the field boundary, where it turns west towards the Aldwincle Road boundary.

All fence and gateposts, and also road and track surfaces are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath them is included.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

The fortified manorial complex at Wadenoe is scheduled for the following principal reasons:

* Survival: the earthworks of the enclosure boundary and internal structures are very evident, and geophysics has demonstrated the clear survival of buried building foundations that define the form and distribution of buildings across the top of the spur. The survival of features within the deer park related to agriculture, including ridge and furrow, a pillow mound and possible mill mound, and the observable stratigraphic relationships, is also significant;
* Potential: stratified archaeological deposits will retain considerable potential to increase our understanding of the physical characteristics and nature of the buildings, the status of the site and its evolution. Buried artefacts will also have the potential to increase our knowledge and understanding of the social and economic functioning of the complex within the wider medieval landscape;
* Rarity: the site appears to represent a rare example of a late Anglo-Saxon or early medieval fortified manorial complex or aristocratic residence;
* Documentation: the site is well documented archaeologically by earthwork and geophysical survey, work supported by manorial records;
* Group value: the fortified complex has strong group value with both designated and undesignated assets, including the deer park, the south half of which forms part of this scheduling. The historic landscape value of the medieval complex and church (listed at Grade II*, National Heritage List 1227141) with the surrounding deer park is high;
* Diversity: the fortified complex appears to contain a range of stratified structures that might be found within comparable high status sites, which with other historically recorded structures and the features recorded within the deer park, illustrate the status of the site, the pursuits of its occupants, and the manorial domestic economy.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Astill, G, Grant, A, The Countryside of Medieval England, (1988)
Christie, N, Stamper, P (eds), Medieval Rural Settlement: Britain and Ireland AD 800-1600, (2012)
Duffey, R Ed, Story of Wadenhoe, (1998)
Ekwall, E, The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Place Names, (1960)
Hall, D, Turning the Plough. Midland Open Fields;landscape character and proposals for management, (2001)
Hall, , Partida, , Rockingham Forest: An Atlas of the Medieval and Early-Modern Landscape , (2009)
Hall, D, The Open Fields of Northamptonshire, (1995)
Lewis, C, Mitchell-Fox, P, Dyer, C , Village, Hamlet and Field: Changing Medieval Settlements in Central England, (1997)
Partida, T, Hall, D, Foard, G, An Atlas of Northamptonshire The Medieval and Early-Modern Landscape, (2013)
Roberts, , Wrathmell, , An Atlas of Rural Settlement in England, (2000)
Royal Commission, , An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in the County of Northamptonshire, Vol 1, (1975)
Royal Commission on Historical Monuments of England, , Archaeological Sites in North East Northamptonshire , (1975)
Challands, A, 'Northamptonshire Archaeology' in The Geophysical Survey at Church Hill, Wadenhoe, Northamptonshire: A Medieval Manorial Site , (1997)
Rockingham Forest Trust Heritage Resource Centre. , accessed from
Wadenhoe Trust, accessed from

Source: Historic England

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