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Cold Hanworth medieval settlement and cultivation remains

A Scheduled Monument in Cold Hanworth, Lincolnshire

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Latitude: 53.3354 / 53°20'7"N

Longitude: -0.4458 / 0°26'44"W

OS Eastings: 503590.289918

OS Northings: 383175.706749

OS Grid: TF035831

Mapcode National: GBR TYBW.92

Mapcode Global: WHGHN.3FZD

Entry Name: Cold Hanworth medieval settlement and cultivation remains

Scheduled Date: 7 July 1999

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1016796

English Heritage Legacy ID: 22759

County: Lincolnshire

Civil Parish: Cold Hanworth

Traditional County: Lincolnshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Lincolnshire

Church of England Parish: Hackthorn St Michael

Church of England Diocese: Lincoln


The monument includes the the full extent of the surviving earthwork and
buried remains of the medieval village of Cold Hanworth, a small settlement
established before the late 11th century. It declined in population from the
mid-14th century onwards and by the 17th century had been partly enclosed for
pasture. By the 18th century it was largely depopulated. In 1863 All Saints
Church was built on the site of the medieval parish church; this church, now a
Listed Building Grade II known as Old Church House, and the churchyard with
surrounding wall and lych-gate, also Listed Grade II, are not included in the
scheduling. The surviving earthwork remains of the medieval village extend to
the west, south and east of the church.

The earliest part of the village is believed to have been established near
the centre of the settlement close to the church. About 50m south of the
church a modern pond lies on the course of the principal street of the
medieval village; the remains of this street are represented by a linear
hollow way which curves eastwards from the pond over a distance of about 150m
and then turns northwards to the edge of the present field. Here, running
along the northern edge of the settlement, are the remains of another linear
depression thought to represent a back lane of the village. Extending along
both sides of the principal hollow way are a series of ditched enclosures,
roughly rectangular in shape; these include house plots within which the
buried remains of dwellings and outbuildings are located.

Immediately to the west and north west of the church a further area of
medieval settlement remains is overlain by a series of post-medieval
enclosures and buried building remains. In this area a north-south linear
depression marks part of the course of a hollow way by which the settlement
was formerly approached from the north. Both this hollow way and the principal
east-west hollow way of the medieval village formerly extended to the south
west of the monument where they intersected among further settlement remains,
thought to represent an area of expansion to the village; these remains have
been levelled by ploughing and no longer survive. They are not included in the

The surviving earthworks of the medieval village are bounded on the east and
west by the remains of medieval ridge and furrow cultivation. These
earthworks, aligned east-west and standing to a height of up to 0.3m,
represent the best surviving remains of a formerly extensive area of
ridge and furrow cultivation which once surrounded the village. The
cultivation remains in the westernmost part of the monument are partly
overlain by a series of post-medieval enclosures.

All modern fences and gates are excluded from the scheduling, although the
ground beneath them 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 Lincolnshire Scarp and Vale sub-Province of the
Central Province, which comprises a succession of scarps and vales in which
clay vales with alluvial deposits and a chalk ridge, together with associated
glacial deposits, form the structural framework of the landscape. There is a
very dense scatter of nucleated settlements, many of which are situated in
lines along favoured scarp-foot and dip-slope locations. Large numbers of
medieval village sites now lie wholly or partially deserted. Densities of
dispersed farmsteads are very low.

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. Villages were the most distinctive aspect
of medieval life in central England, and 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.

Medieval settlements were supported by a communal system of agriculture based
on large, unenclosed open arable fields. These large fields were subdivided
into strips (known as lands) which were allocated to individual tenants. The
cultivation of these strips with heavy ploughs pulled by oxen-teams produced
long, wide ridges, and the resultant `ridge and furrow' where it survives is
the most obvious physical indication of the open field system. Individual
strips or lands were laid out in groups known as furlongs, which were in turn
grouped into large open fields. Well-preserved ridge and furrow, especially
in its original context adjacent to settlement earthworks, is both an
important source of information about medieval agrarian life and a distinctive
contribution to the character of the historic landscape.

The remains of the medieval settlement and its open field system at Cold
Hanworth, survive well as a series of substantial earthworks. As a result of
detailed archaeological survey and historical research they are quite well
understood. The remains of house plots will preserve valuable evidence for
domestic and economic activities on the site throughout the medieval period,
giving an insight into the lifestyle of the inhabitants. The survival of parts
of the open fields they cultivated contributes to our understanding of the
place of the settlement in the wider medieval landscape.

Source: Historic England

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