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Rand medieval settlement

A Scheduled Monument in Rand, Lincolnshire

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Latitude: 53.2975 / 53°17'50"N

Longitude: -0.3394 / 0°20'21"W

OS Eastings: 510770.863166

OS Northings: 379123.203831

OS Grid: TF107791

Mapcode National: GBR VZ29.9N

Mapcode Global: WHGHW.RCKX

Entry Name: Rand medieval settlement

Scheduled Date: 5 October 1974

Last Amended: 24 November 1999

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1016980

English Heritage Legacy ID: 22763

County: Lincolnshire

Civil Parish: Rand

Traditional County: Lincolnshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Lincolnshire

Church of England Parish: Rand St Oswald

Church of England Diocese: Lincoln


The monument includes the remains of the medieval village of Rand and
associated ridge and furrow cultivation. In the late 11th century Rand was
part of the manor of Wragby, but during the late 12th century a separate manor
was established here by the Burdet family, who retained it until the mid-14th
century. During this period the population of the village increased and a
planned expansion took place, while part of the area of the earlier settlement
was enclosed within the manorial complex. From the late 15th century the
population began to decline, probably due to enclosure for sheep pasture. By
1563 there were only seven households in the village and, by the early 19th
century, just one.

The remains of the medieval village, and the ridge and furrow of its open
fields, survive as a series of substantial earthworks. The core of the
village lies along a natural ridge running approximately east-west. The
buried remains of the earliest part of the settlement are located immediately
around the medieval church of St Oswald. The churchyard and church, which is
a Grade II* Listed Building, are still in ecclesiastical use and are therefore
not included in the scheduling. From the south side of the churchyard a
broad linear depression extends eastwards along the ridge. This is the hollow
way representing the principal street of the medieval village, along which it
expanded in the late 12th or 13th century. Rectangular enclosures ranged along
both sides of the street represent house plots, within which raised platforms
and depressions indicate the buried remains of buildings and yards. The
enclosures on the north side of the street are bounded at the rear by a long
linear bank running roughly parallel to the street; adjacent to the north is
an area of ridge and furrow cultivation representing the only complete furlong
surviving from the large open fields which formerly surrounded the medieval
village. Another hollow way runs southwards from the main hollow way to the
south east, where further house plots and hollow ways represent another phase
of expansion associated with the later medieval period. The enclosures in this
south easternmost part include settlement remains of post-medieval date.

To the north west of St Oswalds Church is a substantial moated site,
situated on the north-facing slope of a small valley. The moated island
measures about 35m square and is surrounded by a moat up to 2m in depth and
10m wide, now dry. Low earthworks on the interior of the moated island
indicate the position of buried building remains, including those of the
medieval manor house first established in the late 12th century. The moat is
retained on the three downhill sides by an external bank; gaps in the bank at
the north western corner and in the middle of the north side indicate the
former positions of sluices through which the water level in the moat was
controlled. At the south eastern corner of the moat are the remains of an
inlet leat, taking the form of a linear depression which runs into the moat
from the north western corner of the churchyard. Formerly linked to this leat
was a small fishpond complex, the remains of which survive as a group of four
partly infilled ponds on the south side of the moated site. Both the moated
site and the fishponds lie within a large rectangular enclosure, the northern
part of which is subdivided by ditches and banks into a series of smaller
enclosures representing paddocks or gardens; traces of ridge and furrow
cultivation within these enclosures indicate that the manorial complex was
laid out over earlier arable fields. A long linear mound along its north
eastern boundary is thought to represent the remains of a rabbit warren, while
the broad linear ditch which forms the northern boundary of the complex,
retained by a broad outer bank, is thought to represent a mill leat associated
with a former manorial watermill. The whole manorial complex, which dates from
the late 12th or early 13th century, thus enclosed an area of about 180m by
120m. Adjacent to the east of these remains are those of the early settlement,
which extend both south and north of the church; a ditch separates these from
an area of ridge and furrow adjacent to the north. This area of settlement and
cultivation remains, bounded on the east and south by hollow ways and on the
north by the stream, is believed to have been abandoned in the 13th century
and enclosed within an extension to the manorial complex, which also included
the church and churchyard. A small circular bank in the south eastern part of
this enlarged enclosure, overlying earlier settlement earthworks, is believed
to represent the remains of a manorial dovecote.

All fences, gates and pens 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. 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. 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 medieval village of Rand, and the remains of its open field system,
survive well as a series of substantial earthworks. As a result of detailed
archaeological survey and historical research they are very well understood,
demonstrating a process of manorialisation and expansion during a particular
historic period. The remains of house plots and hollow ways will preserve
valuable evidence for domestic and economic activities on the site, giving an
insight into the lifestyle of the inhabitants. The remains of the manorial
complex survive particularly well and will demonstrate how it functioned as a
vital part of the local and regional community. The association of the
village remains with those of its open fields will also preserve evidence for
the economy of the settlement and its place in the wider medieval landscape.

Source: Historic England

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