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Medieval village of Stanford

A Scheduled Monument in Stanford, Northamptonshire

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Latitude: 52.4049 / 52°24'17"N

Longitude: -1.1336 / 1°8'1"W

OS Eastings: 459035.488917

OS Northings: 278894.103638

OS Grid: SP590788

Mapcode National: GBR 8QC.86N

Mapcode Global: VHCTM.9TK9

Entry Name: Medieval village of Stanford

Scheduled Date: 10 January 1969

Last Amended: 20 May 2014

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1003877

English Heritage Legacy ID: NN 145

County: Northamptonshire

Civil Parish: Stanford

Traditional County: Northamptonshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Northamptonshire

Church of England Parish: Stanford St Nicholas

Church of England Diocese: Leicester


Abandoned areas of the medieval village of Stanford, first documented in Domesday Book of 1086.

Source: Historic England


The monument includes the earthwork and buried archaeological remains of the medieval village of Stanford-on-Avon. The abandoned village of Stanford (now known as Stanford-on-Avon) lies, as the modern name suggests, alongside the River Avon, on river gravel at 100m above OD, predominantly within areas of permanent pasture. The area of assessment is contained on the west by the River Avon, to the south by a tributary of the river, to the east by the road east of the dismantled railway and to the north by the edge of the earthwork remains, c.130m south-west of the Monument dedicated to Lieutenant Percy Piltcher (NHLE 1287174).

The village survives as a series of earthwork and buried remains which can be traced around the currently occupied areas of the village; primarily along a roughly north-east to south-west aligned road, of which the present road, adjacent to the church and which runs north, is a modern successor. South of Home Farm the alignment is not as clear but a hollow way can be traced in the earthworks running south-east from the bend in the modern road. This survives to a depth of c.0.5m and has tofts and crofts defined by low banks and scarps running at right angles to it. Ridge and furrow survives within many of the crofts. North of the Old Rectory is a series of degraded house platforms, marking the site of tofts, each set within small rectangular paddocks with crofts behind. All of the crofts have ridge and furrow within them and two hollow ways pass between them (at grid reference SP5902379156 - SP5935578990 and SP5901478965 - SP5923778848) with subsidiary lanes branching off to the north and south. To the west of the existing north to south road are the earthwork remains of ridge and furrow which run at right angles to the road, up to the edge of the river. East and south-east of the Old Rectory is another group of narrow closes, all with ridge and furrow within them. These are understood to be the back paddocks of houses which stood on the site of the rectory and along the road to the south of the Old Rectory.

Immediately south of the church and west of Home Farm is, what is believed to be the site of the manor house, which is evident as two large sub-rectangular closes, one measuring c.70m by 38m, bounded by low scarps and shallow ditches, and a number of banks. The ditches survive up to c.0.7m deep and the banks up to c.0.4m high.

Ridge and furrow survives in various places around the village, the best preserved examples being either side of the dismantled railway along the eastern edge of the area of assessment; here the ridges survive to a height of c. 0.5m. Aerial photographic evidence (English Heritage 2013) and the Royal Commission survey (1981) illustrate how the furlongs of the medieval agricultural fields were overlain by the railway embankment. Within the large area of pasture, north of the Old Rectory and east of the road, ridge and furrow again survives to this height.

The extent of the scheduled monument is defined along the north-west side by the eastern edge of the lake/river. The area of protection follows this line south until it meets the north-east of the walled kitchen garden. Here the line turns to the east, cutting across the north to south road through the settlement. The line then curves around the north, east and southern edge of the garden associated with Stanford House and the garden boundaries of other dwellings within the village. From the western boundary of Home Farm the edge of the scheduled area runs west along the southern edge of the road through the village and then follows the river south, turning east along a field boundary just south of the drainage ditch. The line then skirts around the garden boundaries of Edghill Cottage and two other dwellings before cutting across to the railway embankment and around a small yard used for the storage of farm machinery. Then the line follows the road around to encompass the well preserved ridge and furrow before cutting back across the railway embankment and following the embankment north. From here the line turns to the east following a field boundary before deviating off to include the earthworks surviving just north of the boundary fence. The line follows the edge of the road until it meets the bridge, river and the western edge of the area of protection.

A number of features are excluded from the scheduling; these include all fences, modern path and road surfaces, the railway embankment and the notice boards, although the ground beneath all these features is included.

There is considerable potential for nationally important (but undesignated) heritage assets to survive within the currently occupied areas of Stanford on Avon settlement. 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 village site at Stanford on Avon, first documented in Domesday Book of 1086, is scheduled for the following principal reasons:

* Survival: for the well defined settlement earthworks and the associated ridge and furrow depicting the form and plan of the settlement and its associated agricultural practices;

* Potential: for the stratified archaeological deposits which retain considerable potential to increase our understanding of the physical characteristics of the buildings and settlement. Buried artefacts will also have the potential to increase our knowledge and understanding of the social and economic functioning of the settlement within the wider medieval landscape;

* Documentation: for the high level of historical and archaeological documentation pertaining to the settlement’s evolution;

* Group value: for its close proximity to other related contemporary designated monuments;

* Diversity: for the range and complexity of features such as building platforms, crofts, trackways, moated manorial centre and ridge and furrow which, taken as a whole, provide a clear plan of the settlement and retain significant stratified deposits which serve to provide details of the continuity and change in the evolution of the settlement.

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)
Bridges, J, The History and Antiquities of Northamptonshire, (1791)
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)
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 on Historical Monuments of England, , An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Northamptonshire III, (1981)
Williamson, T., Partida, T, Champion. The Making and Unmaking of the English Midland Landscape, (2013)
Hall, D, 'Northamptonshire Records Society' in The Open Fields of Northamptonshire, (1995)
Shaw M.; Soden I.; Masters P.. , Stanford-On-Avon, Northamptonshire, Archaeological , 1995,
Northamptonshire Historic Environment Record (HER),

Source: Historic England

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