Ancient Monuments

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Deserted medieval village 320m west of Quickening Cote

A Scheduled Monument in Alwinton, Northumberland

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Latitude: 55.3507 / 55°21'2"N

Longitude: -2.1793 / 2°10'45"W

OS Eastings: 388725.56433

OS Northings: 606309.617211

OS Grid: NT887063

Mapcode National: GBR F66K.ZR

Mapcode Global: WHB0D.HRFZ

Entry Name: Deserted medieval village 320m west of Quickening Cote

Scheduled Date: 10 November 1964

Last Amended: 8 February 1994

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1011416

English Heritage Legacy ID: 20921

County: Northumberland

Civil Parish: Alwinton

Traditional County: Northumberland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Northumberland

Church of England Parish: Upper Coquetdale

Church of England Diocese: Newcastle


The monument is a deserted medieval settlement, situated on gently south-east
sloping ground overlooking Ridlees Burn to the south. The settlement includes
the remains of at least seven rectangular steadings (farmhouses) which are
visible as grass-covered banks of earth and stone 1m to 3m wide and up to a
maximum height of 0.3m. Whilst the steadings are uniformly 5m wide they vary
in length from 10m to 20m. Six of the steadings lie to the east of a small
stream flowing southwards through the settlement into Ridlees Burn while at
least one building lies to the west of the stream. Some of the steadings have
small enclosures attached to their sides. The steadings are all orientated
east-west except the most northerly one which lies on a north-south axis with
an entrance in its east side. Documentary evidence supports the tradition that
this settlement is the medieval village of Aldensheles for which there are
copious records between 1242 and 1430 and again in the 17th century. The
pattern elsewhere in upland Northumberland suggests a similar picture of
settlement expansion in the 13th and 14th centuries which was then curbed by
Scottish raids for several centuries.

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.

The deserted settlement at Quickening Cote survives well and is a good example
of a deserted upland settlement. It will retain significant information on the
nature and duration of its use.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Charlton, D B, Day, J C, 'Archaeologia Aeliana ser 5 vol VII' in Excavation and Field Survey in Upper Redesdale part 2, (1977), 219
Harbottle, B, Newman, T G, 'Archaeologia Aeliana ser 5 Vol I' in Excavation and Survey on the Starsley Burn, North Tynedale, (1973), 140-142
NT 80 NE 08,

Source: Historic England

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