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Medieval settlement remains at Woodford

A Scheduled Monument in Woodford, Northamptonshire

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Latitude: 52.379 / 52°22'44"N

Longitude: -0.5796 / 0°34'46"W

OS Eastings: 496783.713402

OS Northings: 276611.372438

OS Grid: SP967766

Mapcode National: GBR DXL.Y09

Mapcode Global: VHFP0.WGZM

Entry Name: Medieval settlement remains at Woodford

Scheduled Date: 24 February 1978

Last Amended: 22 May 2014

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1003633

English Heritage Legacy ID: NN 189

County: Northamptonshire

Civil Parish: Woodford

Built-Up Area: Woodford

Traditional County: Northamptonshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Northamptonshire

Church of England Parish: Woodford St Mary the Virgin

Church of England Diocese: Peterborough


The earthwork and buried remains of part of the medieval village of Woodford, including boundary banks, house platforms and an unidentified circular feature; the date of abandonment is not known.

Source: Historic England


The scheduled area includes the earthwork and buried archaeological remains of part of the medieval village of Woodford.

The area occupies the east side of two fields to the south of the village, both of which are under pasture, and includes a number of abandoned tofts and crofts, sited towards the bottom of a slope that falls from the north-west to the south-east. Evidence of occupation survives as earthworks, with house platforms on the east and south sides of a rectangle, defined on the east by the existing lane, sunk below the ground level of the field, and on the north, west and south by a linear bank. To the west, this is most evident towards the north end of the field, where it stands under 1m high, running south for a distance of about 70m-80m. Also towards the north end, bordering the lane to the east, the Royal Commission report identifies four hollows, described as probable house platforms; further platforms lie to the south, stepped into the hillside. To the west of these is a circular bank about 0.5m high, enclosing an area about 10m-12m in diameter within which is a low mound.

The scheduled area includes the settlement remains of an abandoned part of the medieval village of Woodford, including house platforms and boundary banks. The area is roughly rectangular, bounded to the north-west by the properties facing onto Rectory Lane, and to the south-east by the road, the south end of Church Street. The length of this boundary is about 151m; that to the north-east, about 91m; to the north-west, about 152m; and to the south-west, about 110m.

All fence and gate posts are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath them is included.

There is considerable potential for undesignated heritage assets to survive within those parts of present day Woodford occupied in the medieval period. These may take the form of standing structures or buried deposits but are considered to be most appropriately managed through the National Planning Policy Framework (March 2012) and are not therefore included in the scheduled area.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

The medieval settlement site at Woodford is scheduled for the following principal reasons:

* Survival: for the good survival of earthworks depicting the form and plan of the settlement;
* Potential: for stratified archaeological deposits that will retain considerable potential to increase our understanding of the physical characteristics of the buildings and settlement. Material evidence of finds, including, in this low lying location, faunal and botanical evidence, has the potential to increase our knowledge and understanding of the social and economic functioning of the settlement within the wider medieval landscape, and the reasons for the abandonment of the site, and the shift of settlement to the north;
* Documentation: for good archaeological documentation in the form of survey of the site, as well as manorial records and other documentary sources relating to the village of Woodford as a whole;
* Group value: for its close proximity to other related contemporary designated monuments, particularly the site of the scheduled Manor House and gardens to the north-east (NHLE 1003634);
* Diversity: for the range and complexity of features such as building platforms, crofts and boundary banks, which, taken as a whole, provide a clear plan of the settlement and will retain significant stratified deposits containing evidence of the settlement's occupation and ultimate abandonment.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Allison, K J, Beresford, M W, Hurst, J G, The Deserted Villages of Northamptonshire, (1966)
Astill, G, Grant, A, The Countryside of Medieval England, (1988)
Aston, M, Austin, D, Dyer, C(eds), The Rural Settlements of Medieval England: Studies dedicated to Maurice Beresford and John Hurst, (1989)
Christie, N, Stamper, P (eds), Medieval Rural Settlement: Britain and Ireland AD 800-1600, (2012)
Dyer, C, Jones, R, Deserted Villages Revisited, (2010)
Hall, D, Turning the Plough. Midland Open Fields;landscape character and proposals for management, (2001)
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)
Page, W, The Victoria History of the County of Northamptonshire: Volume III, (1930)
Page, W, The Victoria History of the County of Northamptonshire: Volume III, (1930)
Partida, T, Hall, D, Foard, G, An Atlas of Northamptonshire The Medieval and Early-Modern Landscape, (2013)
Roberts, B K, Wrathmell, S, An Atlas of Rural Settlement in England, (2003)
Williamson, T., Partida, T, Champion. The Making and Unmaking of the English Midland Landscape, (2013)
Northamptonshire Historic Environment Record (HER),
Royal Commission on Historical Monuments, An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in the County of N, Archaeological Sites in North-East Northamptonshire, (1975)

Source: Historic England

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