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Medieval village and moated sites at Thrupp End

A Scheduled Monument in Lidlington, Central Bedfordshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 52.0457 / 52°2'44"N

Longitude: -0.5618 / 0°33'42"W

OS Eastings: 498726.751373

OS Northings: 239569.939955

OS Grid: SP987395

Mapcode National: GBR F1P.NSV

Mapcode Global: VHFQL.6VV3

Entry Name: Medieval village and moated sites at Thrupp End

Scheduled Date: 11 September 1954

Last Amended: 21 January 1992

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1010364

English Heritage Legacy ID: 20410

County: Central Bedfordshire

Civil Parish: Lidlington

Traditional County: Bedfordshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Bedfordshire

Church of England Parish: Lidlington

Church of England Diocese: St.Albans

Details

The remains of a deserted medieval village and two medieval moated sites, one
of which falls within a separate constraint area, occur next to Thrupp End
Farm.
The village site is known from low earthworks and aerial photographs which
show clearly a range of building plots extending for some 30-50m to the
south east of the lane leading to Thrupp End Farm. Long narrow fields,
typical of medieval farming, extend for a further 100m beyond the house plots
and there is a distinct boundary or headland about 1m high visible on the
south east edge. At the northern end of the village are the remains of two
moated sites. One is attached to the north east corner of the village. It is
almost square and is between 110m and 120m across. The moat arms are 10-20m
wide and up to 3m deep and are crossed by a causeway at the middle of the
south eastern arm. The interior is largely taken up by three oval ponds which
are between 30m and 70m in length. The second moat lies to the north-west
of Thrupp End Farm and is comprised of two islands, a larger square island 80m
wide with a smaller rectangular island, measuring 45m by 20m, at its south
side. The ditches are on average 7m wide by 1.5m deep except on the
south-eastern arm, which has been largely infilled and is about 0.5m deep.
The larger island has a bank, 0.5m high, along its south-west side and its
surface retains lines of earlier ridge-and-furrow. The interior of the
smaller island is slightly raised by about 1.5m and is thought to hold the
remains of a building. At the western corner of the moat the ditches are
enlarged to form two parallel fishponds, each about 40m long by 10m wide. The
south-western arm of the moat contains a canalised stream and has had a sheep-
wash built into it.
The moats are considered to have been part of the medieval manor known as
`Goldington's Manor'. The name is applied to Thrupp End Farm on a map dated
1775 and it is possible that the manor house stood on the site of the present
farm house. Historical documents record that the manor belonged to the Abbess
of Barking and that it was held by the Goldington family from at least the
15th century. Medieval pottery, dating from the 12th-14th century, along with
fragments of building materials, have been found on the surface of the
deserted settlement. The map of 1775 also shows that houses stood on the site
as late as the 18th century.

MAP EXTRACT
The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.

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.

Sometimes associated with deserted village settlements are the sites of
prestigious residences surrounded by moats. These sites form a significant
class of medieval monument and are important for understanding the
distribution of wealth and status in the countryside. Many examples provide
conditions favourable to the preservation of organic remains.
Thrupp End medieval settlement is a good example of a Bedfordshire deserted
village associated with a high status manorial residence. Although modified
by ploughing the monument retains considerable potential for the preservation
of structural remains within the settlement and the moated areas.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Books and journals
The Victoria History of the County of : Volume III, (1912)
Brown, A, Fieldwork for archaeologists and local historians, (1987)
Other
Beds. C.R.O. R1/255 Draft Enclosure Award, (1775)
Brown, A.E. & Taylor, C.C., Beds. SMR 31: 'Origins of Dispersed Settlement...', (1986)
Cambridge AP: AAV 68,71, (1960)
Hunting AP: HSL UK BED 68 780, 6/8064-5, (1968)
Title: Ordnance Survey 6" 1924/46/47 Prov. ed
Source Date:
Author:
Publisher:
Surveyor:

Source: Historic England

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