Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Rotsea medieval settlement and field system, 600m south east of Rotsea Manor

A Scheduled Monument in Hutton Cranswick, East Riding of Yorkshire

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Latitude: 53.9474 / 53°56'50"N

Longitude: -0.3716 / 0°22'17"W

OS Eastings: 506973.756867

OS Northings: 451373.402132

OS Grid: TA069513

Mapcode National: GBR TQVS.CQ

Mapcode Global: WHGDS.81BN

Entry Name: Rotsea medieval settlement and field system, 600m south east of Rotsea Manor

Scheduled Date: 9 October 1954

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1005212

English Heritage Legacy ID: ER 163

County: East Riding of Yorkshire

Civil Parish: Hutton Cranswick

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): East Riding of Yorkshire

Church of England Parish: Hutton Cranswick St Peter

Church of England Diocese: York


The monument includes the remains of a medieval settlement, known Rotsea, and part of its associated field system, all surviving as earthworks on low-lying level ground at Rotsea Carr. The settlement is visible as a series of well defined earthworks including a main hollow way that runs east to west across the monument with a second north to south hollow way at the eastern end of the former area of occupation. An irregular spread of level house platforms marking sites of former buildings are arranged along these routes, with low earthwork banks marking out associated enclosures. The western end of the monument includes part of the associated field system, in the form of ridge and furrow earthworks.
Documentary sources indicate that the settlement is known to have been in existence by 1086; by 1300 it comprised 31 plots including houses and enclosures. It had decreased in size by the early 16th century, by which time it may have comprised of only four holdings. Rotsea was abandoned as a nucleated settlement by 1854.
The surface of the road leading to Rotsea Carr Farm is not included in the scheduling, however the ground beneath is included.

PastScape Monument No:- 79393
Humber SMR No:- 4534

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.
Rotsea medieval settlement is well preserved and a good example. Important archaeological and environmental information survives undisturbed that will provide valuable evidence relating to the construction, use and abandonment of this settlement; as well as contributing to the diversity of surviving medieval settlements nationally. Its situation in a wetland setting means that important environmental remains are likely to be present within, around and beneath the earthworks. This will contribute to our knowledge of landuse and climate change, as well as aiding our understanding of changes within the settlement to environmental changes.

Source: Historic England

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