Ancient Monuments

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Mallows Cotton deserted medieval village

A Scheduled Monument in Ringstead, Northamptonshire

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Latitude: 52.3493 / 52°20'57"N

Longitude: -0.5678 / 0°34'4"W

OS Eastings: 497650.466056

OS Northings: 273321.707382

OS Grid: SP976733

Mapcode National: GBR DY0.M89

Mapcode Global: VHFP7.36PW

Entry Name: Mallows Cotton deserted medieval village

Scheduled Date: 9 October 1981

Last Amended: 12 June 1992

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1010393

English Heritage Legacy ID: 13694

County: Northamptonshire

Civil Parish: Ringstead

Built-Up Area: Raunds

Traditional County: Northamptonshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Northamptonshire

Church of England Parish: Raunds St Peter

Church of England Diocese: Peterborough


Mallows Cotton deserted medieval village lies 1.5km to the west of Raunds and
just to the north-west of the A605 Raunds by-pass.
The village extends over an area of approximately 500m from north-south and
200m east-west. A distinctive hollow-way 2m deep and 4.5m wide runs from
north to south along the east side of the monument. A series of raised
rectangular enclosures identifying house platforms and small garden plots are
visible on the western side of the hollow-way. Exposed stonework also marks
the position of some of the houses. A larger rectangular platform in the
north western area is considered to include the buried remains of the manor
house. In the south western area of the village, ditches and banks indicate
the location of further horticultural plots and fields. Elsewhere trackways
run from east to west across the site.
The village lies 1km to the north of the partially excavated deserted village
of West Cotton, where substantial archaeological evidence of the settlement
was preserved. A small excavation was carried out on Mallows Cotton in 1909
when remains of buildings were uncovered. The manorial history of the site is
complex as the village was documented jointly with the adjacent villages.
However, it is known that the village originated in the 12th century and
was well established by 1274. By 1798, when an enclosure map of the area was
produced, the village was completely abandoned.

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 earthworks of Mallows Cotton deserted medieval village are extensive and
include well preserved remains of buildings as identified by small scale
excavation work in the past.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Royal Commission on Historical Monuments of England, , Archaeological Sites in North East Northamptonshire , (1975)

Source: Historic England

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