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Bineham City deserted village

A Scheduled Monument in Long Sutton, Somerset

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.0211 / 51°1'16"N

Longitude: -2.7142 / 2°42'51"W

OS Eastings: 350002.981221

OS Northings: 124882.457496

OS Grid: ST500248

Mapcode National: GBR MK.HXX5

Mapcode Global: FRA 566F.2DC

Entry Name: Bineham City deserted village

Scheduled Date: 3 January 1978

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1006142

English Heritage Legacy ID: SO 481

County: Somerset

Civil Parish: Long Sutton

Traditional County: Somerset

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Somerset

Summary

Deserted medieval village 520m ENE of Bineham City Farm.

Source: Historic England

Details

This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 27 August 2015. This record has been generated from an "old county number" (OCN) scheduling record. These are monuments that were not reviewed under the Monuments Protection Programme and are some of our oldest designation records.

This monument includes a deserted medieval village situated on the lower south east facing slopes of a low ridge known as Knole Knapp just above the Levels and Main Drain. The settlement survives as mainly buried structures, layers and deposits with visible stony banks, hollows and building platforms for at least ten separate buildings, one on the east side being more complex than the rest arranged in two discrete clusters, one of which is enclosed with track ways, garden plots and other associated structures between them which are in turn surrounded by a partial field system. These earthworks are clearly visible as parch marks on several aerial photographs. Partial excavations in 1951 revealed at least eight buildings with heavily built masonry walls. One building, selected for more detailed examination, measured 20m long by 6m wide and contained three cells. Pottery finds suggested its occupation was from the 13th to the 15th centuries. The whole area was prone to winter flooding and this was thought to be the reason for the final abandonment of the settlement. Known locally as ‘Bineham City’ the actual named village of ‘Little Benham’ is known from documents from 1249 and as ‘Esterebenham’ in 1280 up until 1720 although it was in serious decline from the 16th century.

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. Despite partial excavation and some reduction in the heights of the earthworks through past cultivation the deserted medieval village 520m ENE of Bineham City Farm survives well and will contain further archaeological and environmental evidence relating to its construction, development, social organisation, domestic arrangements, agricultural practices, decline and abandonment and overall landscape context.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Other
PastScape Monument No:-196473

Source: Historic England

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