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Remains of the Medieval Settlement of West Wykeham

A Scheduled Monument in Ludford, Lincolnshire

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Latitude: 53.3793 / 53°22'45"N

Longitude: -0.1715 / 0°10'17"W

OS Eastings: 521730.051979

OS Northings: 388494.810045

OS Grid: TF217884

Mapcode National: GBR WY7C.PB

Mapcode Global: WHHJQ.BBL6

Entry Name: Remains of the Medieval Settlement of West Wykeham

Scheduled Date: 23 May 1955

Last Amended: 14 July 2016

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1004989

English Heritage Legacy ID: LI 132

County: Lincolnshire

Civil Parish: Ludford

Traditional County: Lincolnshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Lincolnshire

Church of England Parish: Ludford Magna St Mary

Church of England Diocese: Lincoln


Abandoned medieval village.

Source: Historic England


Abandoned medieval village.

The site includes the earthworks and buried archaeological remains of the medieval village of West Wykeham. A combination of earthworks and cropmarks clearly depict the street pattern, the site of the church, building platforms (believed to be houses) and associated enclosures.

West Wykeham is situated on high ground that slopes southwards down to the River Bain and eastwards down to a shallow valley. The remains of the village are preserved under permanent pasture. The earthworks consist of a main hollow way, aligned north-west to south-east from TF 21644 88657 to TF 21867 88476 which was part of the road from South Cadeby to Ludford. It is most clearly defined between TF 21665 88583 and TF 21793 88487 where it survives between 1m and 2m deep for a stretch of c.160m. The south-eastern part of the hollow way survives as a slight earthwork. The road is clearly visible on aerial photographs as a cropmark where it continues eastwards (beyond the area of protection) to join the scheduled East Wykeham half a mile away. Towards the northern extent of the surviving village earthworks a V-shaped feature (at TF 2168588621) appears to represent a fork in the road. To the south-west of this a second hollow way (the back lane) runs from TF 21677 888551 to TF 21658 88485 but another sunken linear feature further to the south-west may represent a continuation of this road. At its southernmost the sunken linear feature doubles as the west side of a large rectangular enclosure, centred at TF 21739 88339, possibly used as a stock enclosure.

The sites of former buildings set in rectangular closes line the edges of the hollow ways. The Lincolnshire National Mapping Programme (NMP) identified the remains of six buildings, all approximately 14m by 8m, consisting of building platforms separated by shallow banks. Two are situated on the south side of the main hollow way and four on the north side. Further to the east, where the hollow way fades from earthwork to cropmark, a parchmark aligned north-south is visible on the north side of the hollow way and appears to represent another croft boundary.

The church is clearly visible as an earthwork in the north-west corner of the settlement remains (centred at TF 21620 88584), occupying the highest ground to overlook the village. The earthworks survive to a height of c. 0.5m and clearly depict the plan of the church which measures 15.1m by 7.3m. The church is located within a ditched enclosure, most likely the churchyard, which has an entrance on the north side and measures 42m by 24m.

There are two areas of ridge and furrow within the currently scheduled area of the village complex. To the north-east of the church the ridge and furrow, evident as earthworks, is S-shaped in plan and is aligned east-west with a possible headland along the eastern edge. To the north-west of the church a small area of ridge and furrow is aligned north-south.

The area of protection includes the site of the abandoned medieval village. This is defined on the north and west sides by a hedge and a post and wire fence; and along the south side by a wooded area and a post and wire fence until TF 21779 88296 where the boundary runs northwards to exclude the body of water, defined also by a post and wire fence. The boundary is defined on the east side by a post and wire fence and a hedge, except for the north end which is bounded by a wooded area.

All post and wire fences are excluded from the scheduling although the ground beneath them is included.

There is considerable potential for undesignated (but potentially nationally important) remains to survive outside the scheduled monument, particularly relating to the area of ridge and furrow to the north.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

The remains of the medieval settlement of West Wykeham is scheduled for the following principal reasons:
* Survival: for the exceptional earthworks and parchmarks depicting the form and plan of the settlement and its associated agricultural practices. West Wykeham is regarded as one of the two best examples of extinct villages in Lincolnshire;
* Diversity: for the range and complexity of well preserved features, such as the hollow ways, crofts and tofts with building platforms, and ridge and furrow, which indicate a plan of the settlement and retain significant stratified deposits providing details of the continuity and change in the evolution of the settlement;
* 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 historical documentation pertaining to the settlement’s evolution;
* Group value: for its strong group value with the nearby East Wykeham to which it is linked by a road surviving as a cropmark, and also with the abandoned medieval villages of Kelstern, Calcethorpe and South Cadeby situated two miles away, all of which are scheduled.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Beresford, M, Lost Villages of England, (1954)
Hall, D, Turning the Plough. Midland Open Fields;landscape character and proposals for management, (2001)
Roberts, B K, Wrathmell, S, An Atlas of Rural Settlement in England, (2003)
Pastscape , accessed 4 March 2016 from
Canon C. W. Foster, Extinct Villages and Other Forgotten Places in The Publications of the Lincoln Record Society, vol. 19, 1921
Lincolnshire HER Report 43549 MLI43549

Source: Historic England

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