Ancient Monuments

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Great Musgrave shrunken medieval village

A Scheduled Monument in Musgrave, Cumbria

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Latitude: 54.5162 / 54°30'58"N

Longitude: -2.3548 / 2°21'17"W

OS Eastings: 377128.912274

OS Northings: 513487.457131

OS Grid: NY771134

Mapcode National: GBR CJZ6.ZV

Mapcode Global: WH937.SRV6

Entry Name: Great Musgrave shrunken medieval village

Scheduled Date: 31 March 1978

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1007079

English Heritage Legacy ID: CU 493

County: Cumbria

Civil Parish: Musgrave

Traditional County: Westmorland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cumbria

Church of England Parish: Musgrave St Theobald

Church of England Diocese: Carlisle


Medieval settlement, immediately south, 180m and 240m east and 360m ESE of Musgrave House.

Source: Historic England


This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 30 March 2016. 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.

The monument includes the remains of a medieval village, situated within four separate areas of protection on varying terrain in and around the village of Great Musgrave. The most easterly remains include a sub-rectangular enclosure surrounded by a bank with a maximum height of 2.5m, which was later used as a village pond. Located approximately 230m to the east, and contained within two areas or protection, are the earthwork remains of a series of crofts and an associated road. The most distinct earthwork remains of the crofts include a 0.7m high rectangular mound running north south. Located to the south east of the crofts, within the larges area of protection, are the remains of a series of lynchets preserved as earthworks running east-west with a height of approximately 1.5m. The monument represents the remains of the shrunken medieval village of Great Musgrave. Further archaeological remains survive in the vicinity of the monument but are not been included as they have not been assessed.

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 primarily devoted to farming, 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 as well as acting as the focus of ecclesiastical, and often manorial, authority within each medieval parish. Although the sites of many of these villages have been occupied continuously down to the present day, many have declined considerably in size and are now occupied by farmsteads or hamlets. This decline may have taken place gradually throughout the lifetime of the village or more rapidly, particularly during the 14th and 15th centuries when many other villages were wholly deserted. The reasons for diminishing size were varied but often reflected declining economic viability or population fluctuations as a result of widespread epidemics such as the Black Death. As a consequence of their decline, large parts of these villages are frequently undisturbed by later occupation and contain well-preserved archaeological deposits. Over 3000 shrunken medieval villages are recorded nationally. 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 settlement, immediately south, 180m and 240m east and 360m ESE of Musgrave House is well-preserved as earthworks and buried remains. The monument will contain a wide range of archaeological deposits relating to the construction, use and eventual abandonment of the various portions of the medieval village of Great Musgrave. The monument provides insight into medieval village life and the character of settlement and subsistence during the period.

Source: Historic England


PastScape Monument No:- 14965

Source: Historic England

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