Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Medieval village 100m west of Zouches Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Caddington, Central Bedfordshire

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Latitude: 51.8818 / 51°52'54"N

Longitude: -0.4919 / 0°29'30"W

OS Eastings: 503899.523744

OS Northings: 221432.865732

OS Grid: TL038214

Mapcode National: GBR G51.VX8

Mapcode Global: VHFRD.FY9S

Entry Name: Medieval village 100m west of Zouches Farm

Scheduled Date: 22 July 1977

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1005400

English Heritage Legacy ID: BD 95

County: Central Bedfordshire

Civil Parish: Caddington

Traditional County: Hertfordshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Bedfordshire

Church of England Parish: Caddington

Church of England Diocese: St.Albans


The monument includes the buried and earthwork remains of a medieval village situated immediately to the west of Zouches Farm. The monument survives as a series of well preserved earthworks between 1m and 1.5m high. The earthworks include a hollow way running east to west, with house platforms evident to the north and south and other streets leading from it. There is a circular mound thought to be the base of a windmill near the north west corner of the monument and sherds of roof tile and building stone have been recovered from molehills in the field.
NMR TL 02 SW 56; Mon No 359959; Bed's HER 2882

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. Villages provided some services to the local community and acted as the main focal point of ecclesiastical, and often of manorial, administration within each parish. 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.
The medieval village to the west of Zouches Farm is a well preserved example. Significant archaeological and environmental deposits will survive and contribute to our knowledge and understanding of the construction, use and abandonment of this settlement, and its role in the wider medieval landscape.

Source: Historic England

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