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Medieval settlement remains at East Farndon

A Scheduled Monument in East Farndon, Northamptonshire

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Latitude: 52.4611 / 52°27'39"N

Longitude: -0.9442 / 0°56'39"W

OS Eastings: 471829.3452

OS Northings: 285315.6861

OS Grid: SP718853

Mapcode National: GBR BSH.N3W

Mapcode Global: VHDQZ.LD5P

Entry Name: Medieval settlement remains at East Farndon

Scheduled Date: 14 March 2000

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1017190

English Heritage Legacy ID: 30076

County: Northamptonshire

Civil Parish: East Farndon

Built-Up Area: East Farndon

Traditional County: Northamptonshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Northamptonshire

Church of England Parish: East Farndon St John the Baptist

Church of England Diocese: Peterborough


The monument includes the earthwork and buried remains of part of the medieval
settlement at East Farndon, within two areas of protection. The settlement is
located on a spur of high ground rising to the south east near the parish
church, whilst on either side of the village the land falls steeply away to
the west, north and east.
The settlement is recorded in the Domesday survey, and possible Roman
settlement remains, as well as some later Saxon pottery sherds have been
recorded in the area. The common fields of the parish were enclosed during
1780, and surviving medieval ridge and furrow cultivation remains, on the
steepest slopes surrounding the village, suggest that at some time during the
history of the settlement a high population placed pressure on the available
arable land.
The first area of protection lies to the north of the present day village, in
fields to the north east of Home Farm adjacent to the Harborough Road. It
includes the earthwork and buried remains of at least three enclosures
defined by shallow ditches or hollow ways, measuring up to 3m wide and 1.5m
deep. The eastern end of the enclosures, aligned along the road include a
number of building platforms, measuring up to 0.75m high. These are believed
to include the remains of several houses, including their outbuildings. All of
the enclosures include evidence of small scale quarrying, perhaps for building
materials, and also have traces of ridge and furrow cultivation remains. The
northernmost boundary ditch, aligned approximately east to west, measures up
to 1.5m deep and 3m wide. It runs from the Harborough Road, up the slope
between the enclosures and may have formed an extension to the original back
lane of the settlement.
The second area of protection lies to the south west of the modern settlement
in fields to the south west of East Farndon Hall, and includes the
earthwork and buried remains of at least three enclosures, also aligned along
the main street. The enclosures are defined by shallow boundary ditches or
hollow ways and include a number of low earthen platforms, which are believed
to be the remains of houses and outbuildings. The buildings were arranged
within the enclosures along a crest of high ground, parallel to the course of
the main street.
To the west of the settlement remains, lying behind the house sites, on the
edge of the high ground, are the remains of a deeply hollowed back lane or
boundary ditch, measuring up to 2.5m deep and 6.5m wide and defined on either
side by low external banks.
To the south east of the second area of protection, is an area of heavily
disturbed earthworks created by gravel extraction and including a modern pond
and landscaping. The quarrying has removed any remains which formerly
survived and the area is therefore not included in the scheduling. Lying
between the two areas of protection, defining the rear of the settlement on
its western side, are further traces of the back hollow way or boundary ditch,
which suggest that the feature was originally continuous. These remains are
however, very slight and have been affected by later building, landscaping and
agriculture and are also not included in the scheduling.
All modern surfaces and post and wire fences are excluded from the scheduling,
although the ground beneath these features 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 past 1500 years or more.
This monument lies in the Inner Midlands sub-Province of the Central Province,
an area characterised by large numbers of nucleated settlements, both
surviving and deserted, many of which are thought to have been established in
Anglo-Saxon times. Most of the sub-Province's thinly scattered dispersed
settlements were created in post-medieval times, but some of the local regions
are characterised by higher proportions of dispersed dwellings and hamlets,
which probably mark the patchy survival of older landscapes.
The Stour-Avon-Soar Clay Vales local region is dominated by village and hamlet
settlements. It was once characterised by large townfields under communal
cultivation, traces which survive as ridge and furrow earthworks. It contains
the sites of many depopulated villages and hamlets, perhaps up to one third of
the total number of such settlements which existed in the Middle Ages.

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 remains at East Farndon survive as well defined
earthworks and associated buried features in which evidence for the nature of
the settlement will be preserved. The enclosures 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 relating
to the development of the settlement. Artefacts buried in association with the
buildings will provide further insights into the lifestyle of the inhabitants
and assist in dating the changes through time. Environmental evidence may also
be preserved, illustrating the economy of the hamlet and providing further
information about its agricultural regime.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
RCHME, , 'The county of Northamptonshire' in East Farndon Parish, , Vol. vol 3, (1981), 83-86

Source: Historic England

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