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Medieval settlement 350m east of West Burton Dairy

A Scheduled Monument in Winfrith Newburgh, Dorset

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Latitude: 50.6724 / 50°40'20"N

Longitude: -2.2508 / 2°15'2"W

OS Eastings: 382373.2874

OS Northings: 85894.39605

OS Grid: SY823858

Mapcode National: GBR 21H.MS0

Mapcode Global: FRA 6759.GXM

Entry Name: Medieval settlement 350m east of West Burton Dairy

Scheduled Date: 17 August 1976

Last Amended: 14 July 1999

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1016726

English Heritage Legacy ID: 29089

County: Dorset

Civil Parish: Winfrith Newburgh

Traditional County: Dorset

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Dorset

Church of England Parish: The Lulworths, Winfrith Newburgh and Chaldon

Church of England Diocese: Salisbury


The monument includes the site of an abandoned medieval settlement at West
Burton, situated on a knoll, overlooking the Frome Valley to the north.
The settlement probably represents the medieval hamlet of `West Burton'
mentioned in Charter Rolls of 1279. The site, which was located by N Field in
1966, survives as a series of earthworks which extend over about 4.5ha. The
settlement occurs on the edge of heathland and lies immediately to the north
of the primary route between the medieval towns of Dorchester and Wareham. A
hollow way, aligned south east by north west, represents the course of a
street and it is visible as an earthwork 5m-6m wide and about 0.5m deep. This
is flanked by at least ten small rectangular enclosures, or tofts, all of
which are bounded by low banks and contain flint, carstone and limestone
rubble relating to former buildings.
The hollow way formed a `T' junction with the medieval road to the south, a
remnant of which was recorded as a hollow way aligned east west prior to
destruction by the realignment of the A352 in 1966.
Historical documentation records at least five tenants at West Burton in 1309,
at least seven tenants or freeholders at the hamlet in 1318 and also attests
occupation at the site in 1333. During the later 14th century, the hamlet and
its associated land was granted to Bindon Abbey, after which the history of
the site becomes obscure. Historical sources indicate that the area formed
woodland by 1540 and it is probable that the settlement had become deserted by
this time. The site has yielded a number of surface finds including a range of
pottery dating from the 12th to 14th centuries.
All gates and fence posts are excluded from the scheduling, although the
ground beneath 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 last 1500 years or more.
This monument lies in the West Wessex sub-Province of the Central Province, an
area characterised by large numbers of villages and hamlets within
countrysides of great local diversity, ranging from flat marshland to hill
ridges. Settlements range from large, sprawling villages to tiny hamlets, a
range extended by large numbers of scattered dwellings in the extreme east and
west of the sub-Province. Cultivation in open townfields was once present, but
early enclosure was commonplace. The physical diversity of the landscape was,
by the time of Domesday Book in 1086, linked with great variations in the
balance of cleared land and woodland.
The South Dorset local region is a diverse countryside comprising the South
Dorset Downs and narrow limestone ridges and clay vales which curve around the
chalk escarpments. Settlement is characterised by low concentrations of
scattered farmsteads, and small villages and hamlets: ancient settlements
whose arable fields were, on the evidence of Domesday Book, set among
substantial tracts of pasture and woodland in the 11th century.

Despite some ploughing, the medieval settlement at West Burton survives
comparatively well and includes some well defined earthworks. It is known to
contain archaeological remains which relate to the construction and use of the
settlement and this, along with associated environmental evidence will also
provide evidence of the associated economy.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Field, N H, Taylor, C C, 'Proc Dorset Nat Hist Arch Soc' in Deserted Medieval Settlement of West Burton, Winfrith Newburgh, , Vol. Vol 88, (1966), 117-8
Field, N H, Taylor, C C, 'Proc Dorset Nat Hist Arch Soc' in Deserted Medieval Settlement of West Burton, Winfrith Newburgh, , Vol. Vol 88, (1966), 117-8
Field, N H, Taylor, C C, 'Proc Dorset Nat Hist Arch Soc' in Deserted Medieval Settlement of West Burton, Winfrith Newburgh, , Vol. Vol 88, (1966), 117-8
Field, N H, Taylor, C C, 'Proc Dorset Nat Hist Arch Soc' in Deserted Medieval Settlement of West Burton, Winfrith Newburgh, , Vol. Vol 88, (1966), 117-8

Source: Historic England

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