Ancient Monuments

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Medieval settlement remains immediately west of St Pancras's Church

A Scheduled Monument in Arlington, East Sussex

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Latitude: 50.8459 / 50°50'45"N

Longitude: 0.1891 / 0°11'20"E

OS Eastings: 554212.035146

OS Northings: 107439.038113

OS Grid: TQ542074

Mapcode National: GBR MT5.SRV

Mapcode Global: FRA C68V.ZF0

Entry Name: Medieval settlement remains immediately west of St Pancras's Church

Scheduled Date: 16 December 1974

Last Amended: 16 April 1999

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1016769

English Heritage Legacy ID: 31421

County: East Sussex

Civil Parish: Arlington

Traditional County: Sussex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): East Sussex

Church of England Parish: Arlington St Pancras

Church of England Diocese: Chichester


The monument includes the abandoned part of a medieval settlement situated
upon low-lying clay on the south eastern bank of the River Cuckmere. It
represents most of the original extent of the village of Arlington, which has
since shifted to higher ground to the east of the parish church.
The abandoned part of the settlement survives as an area of earthworks and
associated buried remains, the most distinctive features of which are a
roughly rectangular area interpreted as the now disused, western half of the
churchyard, hollow ways representing village streets, at least four building
platforms and two now dry depressions thought to represent contemporary
village ponds.
Architectural details surviving within the walls of the nave of St Pancras's
Church immediately to the east of the monument have been dated to the late
Anglo-Saxon period, suggesting that the settlement had been established by at
least the 10th-11th centuries AD. The Grade I Listed parish church remains in
use and is therefore not included in the scheduling.
Historical sources indicate the presence within the western part of the
monument of a large medieval manorial residence known as the Parsonage House.
This, along with two smaller buildings in the south eastern part of the
monument, is depicted on an estate map of 1629.
Reuse of the monument during World War II is represented by a small circular
anti-aircraft gun emplacement situated close to the south western corner of
the churchyard and which is included in the scheduling.

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 Eastern Weald sub-Province of the South-eastern
Province, bounded by the North and South Downs and comprising an oval
arrangement of inward facing escarpments of chalk and sandstone, separated by
clay vales, all ringing a higher sandstone ridge. Apart from concentrations of
nucleated settlements in the Vale of Holmsdale and around Canterbury, the sub-
Province is dominated by high and very high densities of dispersed
settlements, giving a countryside with farmsteads and associated enclosed
fields, of medieval foundation, intermixed with cottages, medieval moated
sites and hamlets bearing the names `green' or `dene'.

Medieval villages were organised agricultural communities, sited at the centre
of a parish or township, that shared resources such as arable land, meadow and
woodland. Village plans varied enormously, but when they survive as earthworks
their most distinguishing features include roads and minor tracks, platforms
on which stood houses and other buildings such as barns, enclosed crofts and
small enclosed paddocks. They frequently included the parish church within
their boundaries, and as part of the manorial system most villages included
one or more manorial centres which may also survive as visible remains as well
as below ground deposits. Particularly in the Central Province of England,
villages were the most distinctive aspect of medieval life. Their
archaeological remains are one of the most important sources of understanding
about rural life in the five or more centuries following the Norman Conquest.
The medieval village remains immediately west of St Pancras's Church are
unusual in that they represent the less commonly occurring, nucleated form of
medieval rural settlement within the Eastern Weald sub-Province. They survive
particularly well as mostly undisturbed, impressive earthworks and will retain
archaeological and environmental evidence relating to the exact form,
development and date of the settlement. The waterlogging of parts of the
monument has provided ideal conditions for the survival of contemporary
organic remains.

Source: Historic England

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