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Wychnor deserted medieval village, moated site, moated enclosure and two fishponds

A Scheduled Monument in Wychnor, Staffordshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 52.7434 / 52°44'36"N

Longitude: -1.7391 / 1°44'20"W

OS Eastings: 417708.306767

OS Northings: 316226.621121

OS Grid: SK177162

Mapcode National: GBR 4CZ.YZX

Mapcode Global: WHCGJ.893P

Entry Name: Wychnor deserted medieval village, moated site, moated enclosure and two fishponds

Scheduled Date: 19 January 1970

Last Amended: 23 October 1992

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1009032

English Heritage Legacy ID: 22436

County: Staffordshire

Civil Parish: Wychnor

Traditional County: Staffordshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Staffordshire

Church of England Parish: Wychnor St Leonard

Church of England Diocese: Lichfield

Details

The monument includes Wychnor deserted medieval village, the moated site of
Wychnor Hall, an adjacent moated enclosure and two fishponds. It is divided
into 4 separate constraint areas. The central and eastern parts of the
deserted medieval village display hollow ways bounded by raised platforms
that were the tofts and crofts of the inhabitants. To the north are banks,
ditches, and other raised platforms while to the west are the banks and
ditches of field boundaries with ridge and furrow. South of this are other
field boundaries and earthworks. To the south of the deserted medieval village
is the moated site of Wychnor Hall, the north-western part of which has been
destroyed by the Trent and Mersey canal. It survives as a raised platform
surrounded on three sides by a dry moat 7m wide and 1m deep. An outer bank up
to 19m wide flanks the south-east arm but reduces to 10m wide adjacent to the
north-east arm. An outlet channel issues from the eastern corner of the moat.
South of the moated site is a moated enclosure, likewise partly destroyed on
its north-western side by the canal, but surviving as a raised platform
surrounded by a dry moat 5m wide and 1.4m deep. An inner bank 7m wide runs
along the perimeter of the platform. Within the moated enclosure, at its
northern end, are two dry fishponds. An outlet channel connects the
south-western arm of the moated enclosure to a channel that drains into the
nearby River Trent.

Wychnor Hall moated site was in the hands of the Somervilles by 1164 and later
passed by marriage to the Griffiths in 1328. The house had been demolished by
1535.

All field boundaries, outbuildings and footpaths are excluded from the
scheduling, although the ground beneath all these features is included.

MAP EXTRACT
The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.
It includes a 2 metre boundary around the archaeological features,
considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.

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 monument at Wychnor survives well and is a rare example in Staffordshire
of a juxtaposed deserted medieval village, moated site, moated enclosure and
fishponds. The site remains largely unencumbered by modern development and the
deserted medieval village will contain remains of house plots and field and
property boundaries, thus affording an opportunity for interpreting the
function of the buildings and the arrangement of the settlement. Despite some
damage to the north-western sides of the moated site and adjacent moated
enclosure, the moated site will retain considerable archaeological evidence of
the manor house known to have existed here during the mid-12th century.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Other
Darvill, T., MPP Single Monument Class Descriptions - Moats, (1988)
Dennison, E, MPP Single Monument Class Descriptions - Fishponds, (1987)
Dennison, E, MPP Single Monument Class Descriptions - Fishponds, (1987)
In Staffs SMR Ref No 4009, Pickering, J (Copyright), Wychnor AP Ref 1716/12, (1964)
In Staffs SMR Ref No 918, Meeson, RA, Wychnor DMV,
SMR No 918, Staffs SMR, Wychnor Hall: Wychnor,
To Robinson, K D MPPFW, Goodwin, J (Site owner), (1991)

Source: Historic England

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