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Faulkners medieval settlement at Runaway Fields, 600m south west of Tye Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Hartfield, East Sussex

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Latitude: 51.126 / 51°7'33"N

Longitude: 0.1077 / 0°6'27"E

OS Eastings: 547585.218392

OS Northings: 138416.045083

OS Grid: TQ475384

Mapcode National: GBR LNF.B1W

Mapcode Global: VHHQ9.TY8P

Entry Name: Faulkners medieval settlement at Runaway Fields, 600m south west of Tye Farm

Scheduled Date: 7 February 1983

Last Amended: 7 July 1999

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1016772

English Heritage Legacy ID: 31424

County: East Sussex

Civil Parish: Hartfield

Traditional County: Sussex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): East Sussex

Church of England Parish: Hartfield St Mary

Church of England Diocese: Chichester


The monument includes an abandoned medieval hamlet and an area of associated
small closes, or fields, situated in a small sandstone valley in the Sussex
High Weald, around 8km east of East Grinstead.
Historical evidence and investigations carried out in 1981 have confirmed that
the settlement was in use from the late 12th to the mid-14th century. Field
investigation identified around 19 small building platforms, visible as
terraces cut into the upper slopes of the steep valley sides. The excavation
of one of these revealed traces of the stone rubble sub-walls of a small,
rectangular timber-framed building, interpreted as a dwelling, measuring
around 8.3m by 4.4m. The recovery of iron-working slag from nearby fields and
the presence of two disused quarries beyond the monument suggests that the
settlement may have been associated with ore extraction and iron smelting. The
associated closes cover the remainder of the monument, taking the form of four
small, irregular fields divided by the four streams which meet in the valley
The settlement was first recorded as Folkeneshest in 1199. The monument is
recorded as Runaway Fields in the Hartfield Tithe Award of 1844. Analysis of
the hedgerows which form the field boundaries has suggested that they date to
the period during which the settlement was in use.

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'.

In some areas of medieval England settlement was dispersed across the
landscape rather than nucleated into villages. Such dispersed settlement in an
area, usually a township or parish, is defined by the lack of a single (or
principal) nucleated settlement focus such as a village and the presence
instead of small settlement units (small hamlets or farmsteads) spread across
the area. These small settlements normally have a degree of interconnection
with their close neighbours, for example, in relation to shared common land or
road systems. Dispersed settlements varied enormously from region to region,
but where they survive as earthworks their distinguishing features include
other buildings such as barns, enclosed crofts and small enclosed paddocks. In
areas where stone was used for building, the outline of building foundations
may still be clearly visible. Communal areas of the settlements frequently
include features such as bakehouses, pinfolds and ponds. Areas of dispersed
medieval settlement are found in both the South Eastern Province and the
Northern and Western Province of England. They are found in upland and also
some lowland areas. Where found, 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.
Faulkners medieval settlement represents the predominant, dispersed form of
rural settlement within the Eastern Weald sub-Province. The settlement
survives well, in association with its contemporary closes,
exhibiting little subsequent disturbance. Part excavation and field
investigation has confirmed that the monument retains archaeological and
environmental evidence relating to its original use and abandonment.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Tebbutt, C, 'Sussex Archaeological Collections' in A deserted medieval settlement at Faulkners Farm, Hartfield, , Vol. 119, (1981), 107-116
10/05/1965 print no 47, NMR Library No. 4101, (1965)

Source: Historic England

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