Ancient Monuments

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Fillington Wood medieval settlement

A Scheduled Monument in Stokenchurch, Buckinghamshire

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Latitude: 51.6463 / 51°38'46"N

Longitude: -0.8477 / 0°50'51"W

OS Eastings: 479822.899942

OS Northings: 194795.466984

OS Grid: SU798947

Mapcode National: GBR C3H.NJ7

Mapcode Global: VHDVX.8W6B

Entry Name: Fillington Wood medieval settlement

Scheduled Date: 1 July 1996

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1014560

English Heritage Legacy ID: 28114

County: Buckinghamshire

Civil Parish: Stokenchurch

Traditional County: Buckinghamshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Buckinghamshire

Church of England Parish: West Wycombe

Church of England Diocese: Oxford


The monument, which falls into two areas, includes an enclosed medieval
settlement and a nearby dovecote situated on a south east facing promontory of
the Chilterns, known as Old Dashwood Hill. The site is crossed by the old West
Wycombe to Oxford turnpike road which is still in use as a minor road.
The enclosure has a ditch and bank which define a roughly circular area 60m
across. The bank is best preserved south of the old turnpike where it stands
up to 0.6m high and measures c.3m wide. It is built of chalk and soil with a
flint revetment to prevent it slipping into the ditch. This ditch, despite
having become partly infilled over the years, measures up to 7m wide and
c.1m deep. A counter-scarp bank c.1.5m wide and 0.5m high survives as a
visible earthwork on the southern side of the monument. The entrance or
entrances to the enclosure probably lie beneath the surface of the later road.

Within the enclosure lies a series of medieval building foundations, including
the remains of an open fronted building measuring 6m by 3.4m. Also present are
a flint lined water reservoir, a flint walled building 5m by 7m which has been
shown by excavation to have had a peg-tile roof, a cobbled courtyard area, a
possible kiln and other associated features. A mortared stone dovecote,
situated c.50m south east of the enclosure, was also found during the 1975
excavations. It was constructed with a 3m wide interior around which 1.5m wide
walls had been built. These had supported a peg-tile roof which had collapsed
into the structure after it went out of use.
The walls contained nesting boxes built into their interior faces.

A nearby shaft, which is not included in the scheduling, provided a well
which was later used for the disposal of human remains, believed by the
excavator to be victims of the Black Death during the 14th century. This is
also when the site appears to have been abandoned.
Pottery found during the excavations shows that there was Roman activity on
the site but that the ditch remained in use in the medieval period. The
medieval pottery, along with documentary evidence, helps to provide a detailed
picture of the settlement and its occupants at this time. In the 13th century
a Walter Silindene (Fillindene) lived here on a farm of two virgates for which
he paid rent of 5s.6d each to the Bishop of Winchester, the landlord.
Excluded from the scheduling is the surface of the road and its make-up,
although the land beneath is included in the scheduling.

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.
It includes a 5 metre boundary around the archaeological features,
considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Farmsteads, normally occupied by only one or two families and comprising small
groups of buildings with attached yards, gardens and enclosures, were a
characteristic feature of the medieval rural landscape. They occur throughout
the country, the intensity of their distribution determined by local
topography and the nature of the agricultural system prevalent within the
region. In some areas of dispersed settlement they were the predominant
settlement form; elsewhere they existed alongside, or were components of, more
nucleated settlement patterns. The sites of many farmsteads have been
occupied down to the present day but others were abandoned as a result of, for
example, declining economic viability, enclosure or emparkment, or epidemics
like the Black Death. In the northern border areas, recurring cross-border
raids and military activities also disrupted agricultural life and led to
abandonments. Farmsteads are a common and long-lived monument type; the
archaeological deposits on those which were abandoned are often well-preserved
and provide important information on regional and national settlement patterns
and farming economies, and on changes in these through time.

The medieval settlement in and around the enclosure has been shown from
part excavation to survive as buried features and understanding of the
monument will be enhanced by the evidence of medieval documents which provide
details of some of its occupants, their status and the economy of the period.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Albert, W, The Turnpike Road System in England 1663-1840, (1972)
Egerton (ed), , The Winchester Customal
CASS 00186 ref note 2, C.A.O., Fillington Farm, (1975)
CASS 00186 ref note 5, C.A.O., Fillington Farm, (1975)
CASS 00186, C.A.O., Fillington Farm, (1975)
Excavations summmary reports, Parker, R F and Boarder, A W F, A Medieval Settlement Site at Fillington Wood, (1992)
Summary of excavations, Parker, R F, A Medieval Settlement Site At Fillington Wood, 1992, (1992)
Title: Ordnance Survey 1:10000 Series
Source Date: 1980
SU 79 SE

Source: Historic England

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