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Marston Trussell shrunken medieval village and moat

A Scheduled Monument in Marston Trussell, Northamptonshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 52.4667 / 52°27'59"N

Longitude: -0.9799 / 0°58'47"W

OS Eastings: 469394.217397

OS Northings: 285902.068946

OS Grid: SP693859

Mapcode National: GBR 9R3.C1W

Mapcode Global: VHDQY.Y8TD

Entry Name: Marston Trussell shrunken medieval village and moat

Scheduled Date: 3 September 1992

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1013322

English Heritage Legacy ID: 13633

County: Northamptonshire

Civil Parish: Marston Trussell

Traditional County: Northamptonshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Northamptonshire

Church of England Parish: Marston Trussell St Nicholas

Church of England Diocese: Peterborough

Details

The village earthworks occur within two areas, lying on either side of the
Lubenham Road. The southern area includes a moated site, house platforms and
enclosures ranged around the 13th century church of St Nicholas. The house
platforms and garden plots lie on either side of a north-south running hollow
way, 1m deep, which runs up towards Lubenham Road. In the south of the area
lie a number of ditched fields and small enclosures relating to manorial
paddocks. Beyond these lie a stream and part of the medieval ridge and furrow
field system which is defined by a headland on its southern side. The moated
site lies just to the north east of the church. It has a moat island about
35m square surrounded by a ditch up to 12m wide and 2m deep. A spring at the
north west corner supplied water for the moated system. The moat is
considered to be the site of the medieval manor house of the village and at a
later date a new manor house was built to the north of the church and west of
the moat. In about 1874 this house was demolished and the present road cut
across part of the village.
The northern area includes an east-west hollow way, running parallel to the
Lubenham Road; a number of well-defined house platforms and garden plots can
be identified next to the hollow way and adjacent to the existing modern
houses. During the construction of these modern houses in the 1950s finds of
medieval and Roman pottery were made. Further Roman finds, including 3rd
century pottery, were unearthed during grave digging and church restoration
activities in 1945.
All made up roadways and paths on the site are excluded from the scheduling,
but the ground beneath these features is included.

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 shrunken medieval 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.
Marston Trussell shrunken medieval village has very well preserved earthworks
with a diversity of features which are largely undisturbed. These earthworks
include the sites of two successive manor houses and of the medieval village
and outlying fields, all of which lie around the early church. The site
therefore has considerable archaeological potential for preserving evidence of
the history and economic development of a nucleated village from the medieval
period to more recent times.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Books and journals
Royal Commission on Historical Monuments of England, , Archaeological Sites in Northamptonshire

Source: Historic England

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