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Medieval settlement at Brookhampton

A Scheduled Monument in Kineton, Warwickshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 52.1529 / 52°9'10"N

Longitude: -1.5369 / 1°32'12"W

OS Eastings: 431783.636952

OS Northings: 250612.333528

OS Grid: SP317506

Mapcode National: GBR 6Q2.VNL

Mapcode Global: VHBY9.94WY

Entry Name: Medieval settlement at Brookhampton

Scheduled Date: 21 February 2000

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1016439

English Heritage Legacy ID: 30043

County: Warwickshire

Civil Parish: Kineton

Traditional County: Warwickshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Warwickshire

Church of England Parish: Kineton St Peter

Church of England Diocese: Coventry

Details

The monument includes the buried and earthwork remains of the medieval
settlement of Brookhampton, located upon the south facing slopes of a hillside
above the River Dene. The settlement includes the remains of the manor house,
the medieval fishpond complex, house sites, gardens and allotments of the
medieval village, and its associated hollow ways, field boundaries, enclosures
and ridge and furrow cultivation remains. Parch marks, or areas of brown or
dying grass which occur where stone remains lie close beneath the surface,
are visible at the site during dry summers and indicate that the buildings
were constructed from stone, which is relatively rare among the villages of
the Warwickshire claylands.

Brookhampton was mentioned by Rous around 1450 when it is already thought to
have been depopulated. A mill is subsequently recorded here during the 1540s
although its site is no longer visible, and a poor law dispute concerning the
manor is recorded in the 1660s.

An area of regular tofts (homestead and crofts, allotments or extended garden
plots) defined by banks and ditches and laid out along the side of a road in
an east to west orientation lie just below the crest of the hill to the west
of the manor house. The manorial complex lay in the eastern part of the
monument, at the head of the street where Brookhampton Farm, a largely post-
medieval stone built farm house, now occupies the site. The manorial complex
lay in the vicinity of the present farmhouse, and is believed to include the
site of the medieval manor house and associated buildings and fishponds. A
banked and terraced enclosure survives to the west of the present farmhouse,
which is thought to represent part of the enclosure of the manorial site,
although the terracing may represent later landscaping of the garden area
around the post-medieval dwelling. The modern house and its ancillary
buildings are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath is
included.

Super-imposed upon the settlement site are the remains of a post-medieval
fishpond complex which includes a chain of three sub-rectangular stew ponds.
These are located to the south and west of the manor, with the westernmost
stew pond occupying several tofts of the settlement.

The main street running between the two rows of tofts and crofts, led towards
the village fields in the west, and is partially followed by the modern public
footpath along a field track. The building platforms are best preserved on the
northern, and upslope, side of the street, where several are clearly visible
and measure between 15m and 20m wide and approximately 20m long. These would
be expected to contain the buried remains of several phases of medieval
domestic dwellings and their ancillary buildings.

The crofts are defined by boundary banks measuring up to 0.75m high and 1m to
2m wide. These delineate regular enclosures, approximately 30m long and as
wide as the house platforms, to the south of the house sites. The northern
boundary of the tofts is clearly visible as a large bank, enclosing the
settlement, up to 1m high and 2m to 3m wide orientated east to west running to
the north of the building platforms. It is best preserved in the eastern part
of the monument where it survives for 20m to 30m, orientated east to west,
before turning through 90 degrees to run south for approximately 15m. This
represents the eastern extent of the settlement, beyond which medieval ridge
and furrow cultivation remains survive, a sample of which are included in the
scheduling.

A second row of houses stood to the south of the main street, mid-way down the
hill, and orientated east to west parallel with the top row of houses
approximately on a level with the site of the manor house. Although several
building platforms and the remnants of tofts boundaries can still be seen,
these house remains are less clear, being obscured in the southern part of the
monument by the pond systems which were subsequently laid out over the
settlement remains. A third row of buildings is located at the west of the
village, where the slope of the hill is gentler. These were orientated north
to south, running down the slope of the hill, rather than across it. At least
three enclosures with building platforms survive in this part of the
settlement. To the west of these enclosures are further medieval ridge and
furrow cultivation remains marking the western extent of the settlement.

Several hollow ways orientated north to south, cross the arrangement of tofts
and crofts and run down the slope towards the stream at the southern extent of
the settlement. These hollow ways are believed to be access routes to the
water source. Any settlement remains which may have survived to the south of
the stream have been obscured by the later railway embankment and cuttings and
this area is not therefore included in the scheduling.

Brookhampton manor house and its ancillary buildings, all modern surfaces and
modern post and wire fences are excluded from the scheduling, although 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

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.
This monument lies in the Inner Midlands sub-Province of the Central Province,
an area characterised by large numbers of nucleated settlements, both
surviving and deserted, many of which are thought to have been established in
Anglo-Saxon times. Most of the sub-Province's thinly scattered dispersed
settlements were created in post-medieval times, but some of the local regions
are characterised by higher proportions of dispersed dwellings and hamlets,
which probably mark the patchy survival of older landscapes.
The Stour-Avon-Soar Clay Vales local region is dominated by village and hamlet
settlements. It was once characterised by large townfields under communal
cultivation, traces which survive as ridge and furrow earthworks. It contains
the sites of many depopulated villages and hamlets, perhaps up to one third of
the total number of such settlements which existed in the Middle Ages.

The medieval settlement at Brookhampton demonstrates a high level of
preservation, including good buried earthwork remains of a variety of
settlement features. Their high level of preservation, without any major
recent disturbance, will be expected to provide evidence for the structural
remains of a range of domestic dwellings and their ancillary and agricultural
buildings. This will provide information about the relative wealth and
activities of the members of the community as well as their standards of
living. Changing methods and forms of housing and building techniques will
also be illustrated, as well as the development of the technologies of
agriculture and changing patterns of subsistence. Domestic artefacts and
environmental deposits which are believed to be preserved in and around the
buildings will also provide evidence for daily life in the community. The
crofts will include evidence for use of the private areas of land by
individual tenants in comparison to the activities undertaken in common land
and public space such as the great fields and greens of the settlement.

In addition, surviving post-medieval manorial features, including the
fishponds and garden remains will illuminate the organisation and exploitation
of the demesne lands of a manorial complex after the abandonment of the main
settlement. Being constructed as part of a complete redevelopment of the
site, by a wealthy owner, they will be expected to incorporate many
fashionable features and technological advances, and will also reflect
something of the aspirations of the rising country gentry. In addition the
waterlogged conditions will be expected to preserve environmental evidence
relating to the natural environment and climatic conditions in the region.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Books and journals
Beresford, M W, Deserted Medieval Villages of Warwickshire, (1945), 87
Other
Various SMR Officers, Unpublished noted, 1990, notes in SMR file

Source: Historic England

Other nearby scheduled monuments

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