Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Medieval settlement remains immediately south east of Fresden Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Highworth, Swindon

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Latitude: 51.6262 / 51°37'34"N

Longitude: -1.6708 / 1°40'14"W

OS Eastings: 422881.973592

OS Northings: 191980.63806

OS Grid: SU228919

Mapcode National: GBR 5VY.Y53

Mapcode Global: VHC0R.0D16

Entry Name: Medieval settlement remains immediately south east of Fresden Farm

Scheduled Date: 28 July 1958

Last Amended: 8 December 1997

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1016311

English Heritage Legacy ID: 28963

County: Swindon

Civil Parish: Highworth

Traditional County: Wiltshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Wiltshire

Church of England Parish: Highworth with Sevenhampton and Inglesham

Church of England Diocese: Bristol


The monument includes medieval settlement remains located between Watchfield
Common Wood and Fresden Farm. It is situated on a slight east facing slope
overlooking the valley of the River Cole.
The main street of the settlement is clearly defined by a hollow way which
follows an east-west alignment for approximately 70m before turning sharply to
run south for a further 90m. This is flanked on the northern and eastern sides
by a number of raised platforms up to 1m high. These vary in size from
approximately 48m long and 30m wide to 20m long and 12m wide and represent the
sites of houses and outbuildings.
Aerial photographs reveal evidence of further settlement features which extend
to the north of the earthworks included in this scheduling and also traces of
ridge and furrow cultivation to the west. These have been levelled by modern
cultivation and are not included in the scheduling.
The modern drain cover on the north side of the monument together with all
fence posts are excluded from the scheduling although the ground beneath these
features is included.

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

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Medieval rural settlements in England were marked by great regional diversity
in form, size and type, and the protection of their archaeological remains
needs to take these differences into account. To do this, England has been
divided into three broad Provinces on the basis of each area's distinctive
mixture of nucleated and dispersed settlements. These can be further divided
into sub-Provinces and local regions, possessing characteristics which have
gradually evolved during the past 1500 years or more.
The South Midlands local region is large, and capable of further subdivision.
Strongly banded from south west to north east, it comprises a broad succession
of clay vales and limestone or marlstone ridges, complicated by local drifts
which create many subtle variations in terrain. The region is in general
dominated by nucleated villages of medieval origin, with isolated farmsteads,
mostly of post-medieval date, set in the spaces between them. Depopulated
village sites are common, and moated sites are present on the claylands.

The medieval settlement remains at Fresden are well preserved and are a fine
example of this class of monument.

Source: Historic England

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