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Medieval settlement at Ullington

A Scheduled Monument in Pebworth, Worcestershire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 52.122 / 52°7'19"N

Longitude: -1.8412 / 1°50'28"W

OS Eastings: 410969.283562

OS Northings: 247090.472321

OS Grid: SP109470

Mapcode National: GBR 3L2.WWZ

Mapcode Global: VHB0P.1XHM

Entry Name: Medieval settlement at Ullington

Scheduled Date: 3 July 2000

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1017246

English Heritage Legacy ID: 30058

County: Worcestershire

Civil Parish: Pebworth

Traditional County: Gloucestershire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Worcestershire

Church of England Parish: Pebworth St Peter

Church of England Diocese: Gloucester

Details

The monument includes the buried and earthwork remains of the medieval
settlement of Ullington, located on gently undulating land lying to the north
west of the crossroads between the Ryknield Street Roman road and the B4510.
The settlement includes the remains of the manor house, the house sites,
gardens and allotments of the medieval village, and its associated hollow
ways, field boundaries, enclosures and ridge and furrow cultivation remains.
The settlement at Ullington was already established by 1086 when it was
recorded in the Domesday survey as having a chapel. It survived at least
until 1334-36 when it is mentioned in the Lay subsidy rolls. The last known
mention of the village was in 1486, and it is believed to be the same village
of `Woolington' referred to by Rous, the 15th century commentator, in his list
of deserted settlements.
The settlement remains include an area of irregular tofts, (house sites
including building platforms and yards), and crofts (the allotments or
extended garden plots associated with the dwellings), defined by banks and
ditches, lying to the west of the manor house. The manorial complex lay in
the eastern part of the settlement, at the head of the village. Ullington
Hall, a largely post-medieval stone built farmhouse, occupies the site of the
medieval manor house and associated buildings. Ullington Hall is Listed Grade
II and excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath it is
included. Its ancillary buildings lie outside the area of the scheduling.
To the west of the manor site are the remains of up to four crofts, defined by
boundary ditches measuring up to 0.75m deep and 1m to 2m wide. These
allotments may have also included stock pens and sheds for animals such as
pigs or poultry. Several building platforms are preserved within the
enclosures, and measure between 15m and 20m wide and approximately 20m long.
These will contain the buried remains of several phases of medieval domestic
dwellings and their ancillary buildings. At least three hollow ways or ditches
aligned east to west run from the site of the settlement and manor house
towards Ryknield Street Roman road. The hollow ways measure 0.75m to 1m deep
and up to 3m wide and act both as boundaries between the crofts associated
with the dwellings of the village and as routes from the village to the main
road. In 1986 archaeological recording on the north western edge of the
settlement uncovered the remains of a further hollow way with a bank on its
northern side. To the north of the bank were the remains of a half timbered
building with an internal hearth. The building is believed to have been
destroyed by fire, and artefactual remains indicated that the building dated
to the 12th and 13th centuries. To the south and east of the manor site are
the remains of a triangular enclosure which is believed to include the remains
of a medieval chapel represented by a shallow rectangular hollow orientated
east to west and measuring approximately 20m long by 12m wide. The enclosure
also includes medieval ridge and furrow cultivation remains oriented east to
west suggesting that the area was once part of the village plough lands,
either before or after the active life of the chapel.
The remains of a medieval fishpond complex which includes a chain of three
sub-rectangular stew ponds are located to the south and west of the manor, but
these have been landscaped and are not included in the scheduling.
Ullington Hall, all modern fences, paths and surfaces are excluded from the
scheduling, although the ground beneath them 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 organised agricultural communities, sited at the centre
of a parish or township, that shared resources such a arable land, meadow and
woodland. Village plans varied enormously, but when they survive as earthworks
their most distinguising 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.
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 a 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 settlement at Ullington survives well and includes earthwork and
buried remains of a variety of settlement features such as the toft and croft
sites, parts of the manorial complex and the site of the chapel. Their
preservation with little recent disturbance, will provide evidence of a range
of domestic dwellings and agricultural buildings. Archaeological recording on
the north western edge of the settlement has confirmed the survival of
extensive buried deposits of the 12th and 13th centuries. These will provide
information about forms of housing and building techniques, developing
agricultural technologies and changing patterns of subsistence. Changing
agricultural regimes and standards of living will be illuminated through
artefactual evidence and environmental deposits which are preserved in and
around the buildings.
The remains of the chapel will provide information about changing ritual
practices and fashions of decoration as well as indicating levels of wealth
and craftsmanship. In addition the skeletal remains of the inhabitants of the
medieval settlement may be preserved in an associated cemetary providing
information about the dietary conditions, age and health of the rural
population, and allowing statistical analysis of the changes in the population
of medieval Ullington. The survival of burial goods and artefacts such as
coffin fittings will also provide information about funerary practices in the
settlement.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Other
Various SMR Officers, Various unpublished notes in SMR file, HWCM00867

Source: Historic England

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