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Petlinge medieval settlement and manorial garden remains 90m west and 160m south east of All Saints' Church

A Scheduled Monument in Peatling Magna, Leicestershire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 52.5262 / 52°31'34"N

Longitude: -1.1231 / 1°7'23"W

OS Eastings: 459588.658746

OS Northings: 292396.644051

OS Grid: SP595923

Mapcode National: GBR 8NT.QVG

Mapcode Global: VHCT1.HR3S

Entry Name: Petlinge medieval settlement and manorial garden remains 90m west and 160m south east of All Saints' Church

Scheduled Date: 12 January 2000

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1017209

English Heritage Legacy ID: 30257

County: Leicestershire

Civil Parish: Peatling Magna

Traditional County: Leicestershire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Leicestershire

Church of England Parish: Peatling Magna All Saints

Church of England Diocese: Leicester

Details

The monument includes medieval manorial gardens, fishponds and adjacent
settlement remains, which are in two separate areas of protection, situated
90m west and 160m south east of All Saints' Church. Further areas of medieval
settlement approximately 400m to the north are the subject of a separate
scheduling. Part of Petlinge (now known as Peatling Magna) between the two
monuments is still inhabited.

At the time of the Domesday survey in 1086 the village of Petlinge was held by
Godwin the priest, Robert de Buci and Countess Judith. Countess Judith, sister
of William the Conqueror inherited the land from her husband, Earl Waltheof,
who had held it prior to the Norman Conquest but was beheaded in 1075 for
treason. There were at least two manors within the village; one was held by
the de Ferrers family from at least 1343 until 1445, when it passed through
marriage to the Greys of Groby. The other was held by the Abbot of St Ebrulph
in Normandy from at least 1216 until 1414 when it was seized by the Crown and
subsequently given to the Carthusian priory of Shene in Surrey. Following the
Dissolution of the Monasteries, in 1547 the manor was granted by Henry VIII to
Thomas Villers and Nicholas Beaumont, eventually reverting to John Jervis.
Following the seizure of the manor by Elizabeth I, it was restored to the
Jervis family in 1568 and remained in their ownership until the end of the
18th century. A description of Manor Farm dated to 1790 makes clear reference
to moated grounds, the sites of gardens and fishponds. In 1528 35 families
were recorded in Peatling Magna, the number increasing to 62 by 1564, but
declining back again to 32 by 1801. Limited excavations within the village in
1982 recovered sherds of 13th to 14th century pottery.

In the first area of protection immediately east of Manor Farm the remains of
the formal gardens of the manor house are defined by a complex series of
fishponds and drainage features, which are principally located in relation to
a pair of parallel channels approximately 120m in length and orientated on a
WNW-ESE axis. The channels feed into a large rectangular embanked pond
measuring a maximum of 80m north to south, and 55m east to west, which
contains a small rectangular island. A short leat also connects the southern
channel to the northern side of a second embanked pond approximately 45m
square, now dry. Divisions within the base of the pond are visible as low
mounds. A broad drainage ditch runs from the south western corner of the pond
for 130m before turning sharply ESE to follow the modern field boundary down
the hillside to a third pond, now dry, situated in the south eastern corner of
the field, which ran parallel with a stream and whose western side was defined
by a low linear bank. The gardens were constructed within an area of existing
medieval ridge and furrow agriculture.

In the second area of protection, approximately 250m to the west of the first,
the remains include house platforms, trackways and enclosures representing
areas of abandonment caused by the contraction of the village. The location of
houses adjacent to the southern side of Church Lane are indicated by a series
of low amorphous mounds on a rectangular platform which measures approximately
90m east to west and 50m north to south. A series of boundaries and short
lengths of trackway are defined by faint parallel banks and ditches which run
east to west across the platform, and a trackway follows its southern edge. A
further series of boundaries, probably denoting areas of habitation, are
visible immediately south of the platform.

All fences, cattle grids and footbridges 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 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 the organised agricultural communities, sited at the
centre of a parish or township, that shared resources such as arable land,
meadow and woodland. Village plans vary 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. In the Central Province of England,
villages were the most distinctive aspect of medieval 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.

Medieval villages were supported by a communal system of agriculture based on
large, unenclosed open arable fields. These large fields were divided 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 defined by terminal
headlands at the plough turning-points and lateral grass baulks. Furlongs were
in turn grouped into large open fields. Well preserved ridge and furrow,
especially in its original context adjacent to village earthworks, is both an
important source of information about medieval agrarian life and a distinctive
contribution to the character of the historic landscape.

The building of fishponds began in the medieval period and peaked in the 12th
century. The difficulty in obtaining fresh meat in winter and the value placed
on fish in terms of its protein content and as a status food may have been
factors which favoured the development of fishponds and which made them so
valuable. The practice of constructing fishponds declined after the
Dissolution of the Monasteries in the 16th century, although in some areas it
continued into the 17th century. Documentary sources provide a wealth of
information about the way fishponds were managed. The main species of fish
kept were eel, tench, pickerel, bream, perch and roach. Most fishponds were
located next to villages, manors or monasteries.

Petlinge medieval settlement and manorial garden remains 90m west and 160m
south east of All Saints' Church survive particularly well as a series of
substantial earthworks and buried deposits. The gardens and areas of
settlement have remained largely undisturbed since their abandonment with the
result that the survival of archaeological deposits relating to their
occupation and use is likely to be good. These deposits will contain
information about the dating, layout and status of the medieval village. In
addition, waterlogging in the area of the fishponds suggests a high potential
for the survival of organic remains which will provide a useful insight into
the economy of the site, and the environment in which it was constructed.
Together with contemporary documents relating to the village and manor house,
this will provide a good opportunity to understand the mechanisms behind the
development, decline and eventual abandonment of areas of the settlement.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Books and journals
Nichols, J, The History and Antiquities of the County of Leicester, (1790)
Other
Farnham, G., Leicestershire Medieval Village Notes, 1935,
Hartley, R F, (1981)
Leicestershire County Council, SP 59 SE AB,
RCHME, NMR Printout: SP 59 SE 14,
RCHME, NMR Printout: SP 59 SE 14,

Source: Historic England

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