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Medieval settlement at Nobold, 440m east of Lowe Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Sibbertoft, Northamptonshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 52.4325 / 52°25'56"N

Longitude: -0.9787 / 0°58'43"W

OS Eastings: 469531.113556

OS Northings: 282101.367696

OS Grid: SP695821

Mapcode National: GBR 9RH.KCG

Mapcode Global: VHDR4.Z4G3

Entry Name: Medieval settlement at Nobold, 440m east of Lowe Farm

Scheduled Date: 12 October 1980

Last Amended: 14 December 1999

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1017183

English Heritage Legacy ID: 30069

County: Northamptonshire

Civil Parish: Sibbertoft

Traditional County: Northamptonshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Northamptonshire

Church of England Parish: Clipston All Saints

Church of England Diocese: Peterborough

Details

The monument includes the buried and earthwork remains of the medieval
settlement at Nobold, located on the east facing slope of a high ridge.
The village name is first recorded in 1284 when it had 35 virgates of land
divided between three estates. This late recording of the name and the name
Nobold, or `new build' suggests that the settlement was a late or secondary
foundation.
The settlement was usually included in taxation assessments with the village
of Clipston. In 1381 its three common fields were noted, when the tenants of
the largest of the estates were recorded. By 1459 only two houses remained in
this estate, although little is known of the fate of the other two estates.
The village had long been abandoned by the 18th century, when the field was
called `Old Nobold (New Build) Close', and part of the site, where human bones
had been recorded, was still known as the churchyard.
The earthwork remains of the settlement measure up to 0.5m high, except for
a broad hollow way measuring up to 1m deep and 6m wide which crosses the site
from east to west. On either side of the hollow way are the remains of the
earthen building platforms of the medieval house sites, set within embanked
enclosures, or gardens. These survive best on the northern side of the eastern
end of the hollow way; elsewhere later medieval ridge and furrow cultivation
remains partly or wholly overlie the remains. Behind the house sites are the
remains of long enclosures, or crofts, as wide as the houses and approximately
60m long. These acted as the allotments for the householders and are also
partly overlain by ridge and furrow. At its western end the hollow way ends in
an area of irregular earthworks enclosed by a bank and ditch. This may
represent the location of the chapel or church, or a high status dwelling. A
second hollow way ran to the south or rear of the settlement remains, also
orientated east to west and lying parallel with the main street. This second
hollow way acted as a back lane to the settlement and is echoed to the north
by the course of the modern road. The remains of a quarry lie to the south
west of the settlement earthworks.
All modern post and wire fences are excluded from the scheduling, although the
ground beneath these features is included.

MAP EXTRACT
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 East Midlands sub-Province of the Central Province,
an area characterised in the Middle Ages by large numbers of nucleated
settlements. The sites of many of these settlements are now occupied by modern
villages, but others have been partially or wholly deserted and are marked by
earthwork remains. Most of these settlements were first documented in the 11th
century, in Domesday Book. The southern part of the sub-Province has greater
variety of settlement, with dispersed farmsteads and hamlets intermixed with
the villages. Whilst some of the dispersed settlements are post-medieval,
others may represent much older farming landscapes.
The Soar Valley and Nene Plateau local region comprises the low hill country
of the Soar Valley and, to the south east, a low plateau dissected by the
tributaries of the Nene and Welland. Nucleated villages and hamlets dominate
the region, but gaps are found within the pattern in Rockingham Forest, in
Rutland and in High Leicestershire where they are linked to the location of
woodland in and before the 11th century.

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 survive also as visible remains as well
as below ground deposits. In the central province of England, villages were
the most distinctive aspect of rural life, 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.
The medieval settlement at Nobold survives as an area of well defined
earthworks and associated buried remains in which evidence for the nature of
the settlement will be preserved. The crofts and building platforms will
contain buried evidence for houses, barns and other structures, accompanied
by a range of boundaries, refuse pits, wells and drainage channels, all
related to the development of the settlement. The settlement at Nobold
appears to have resulted from a late foundation, having a short duration and
early abandonment, suggesting that the settlement represented an overflow
establishment from the nearby parish of Clipston and may have included
inhabitants from up to three different manors. The settlement appears to have
existed largely during the period of highest population pressure and to have
been abandoned soon after the population collapse of the 14th century, which
was caused by a combination of worsening climate, pressure on land, and
disease. As a short lived settlement, the remains at Nobold will provide
insights into a particular period in the history of settlement in the
Midlands.
Buried artefacts, in association with the buildings will provide further
evidence of the lifestyle of the inhabitants and assist in dating the
development of the settlement over time. Environmental evidence may also be
preserved, illustrating the economy of the hamlet and providing further
information about its agricultural regime. Antiquarian reports suggest that
the settlement had its own cemetery, and this will preserve buried human
remains which will provide information about the population of the settlement
including their diet, standards of living and life expectancy, as well as
providing information about funerary practices and rituals.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Other
Clipton parish, RCHMe, RCHME Northamptonshire, Northamptonshire,
Clipton parish, RCHMe, RCHME Northamptonshire, Northamptonshire,
Clipton parish, RCHMe, RCHME Northamptonshire, Northamptonshire,
Various SMR Officers, Various unpublished notes in SMR, SMR File 684

Source: Historic England

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