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Medieval settlement remains, post mill and field system 240m north of Pinchinthorpe Hall

A Scheduled Monument in Guisborough, Redcar and Cleveland

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Latitude: 54.5203 / 54°31'13"N

Longitude: -1.112 / 1°6'43"W

OS Eastings: 457574.884709

OS Northings: 514250.455027

OS Grid: NZ575142

Mapcode National: GBR NJP5.1C

Mapcode Global: WHD77.WNM1

Entry Name: Medieval settlement remains, post mill and field system 240m north of Pinchinthorpe Hall

Scheduled Date: 18 July 2000

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1017317

English Heritage Legacy ID: 32726

County: Redcar and Cleveland

Civil Parish: Guisborough

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): North Yorkshire

Church of England Parish: Guisborough St Nicholas

Church of England Diocese: York


The monument includes remains of part of the medieval village of
Pinchinthorpe, the site of a post mill and part of an associated field system,
situated on the left bank of the Bridle Gill at the foot of Roseberry Topping.
Pinchinthorpe Hall moated site and post-medieval gardens are the subject of a
separate scheduling.
In the Domesday Book of 1086 there were two separate manors at Pinchinthorpe,
one of which was described as `waste' and the other as belonging to the king.
A village at Pinchinthorpe was mentioned in 14th century taxation documents
and in 1367 it was described as containing 10 houses and 25 tofts. By 1519
the village had shrunk to only six houses and on the tithe map of 1839 two
buildings were depicted.
The village includes at least one row of enclosures aligned along the south
eastern side of a hollow way. There are six enclosures, rectangular in shape,
measuring on average 16m by 20m bounded by banks standing to a maximum height
of 0.5m, and in some cases by ditches 0.5m deep. The most north easterly
enclosure at the end of the row is larger than the others and is 30m square.
These enclosures, interpreted as a row of medieval house sites (tofts) and
associated allotments (crofts), are bounded on the south east side by a
substantial perimeter bank 0.6m high which runs parallel to the modern road.
Aerial photographs indicate that some of the enclosures contain the remains of
medieval rig and furrow cultivation. On the north western side of the hollow
way, there is a single enclosure of similar dimensions to those on the south
east; this enclosure is interpreted as another toft and croft which marked the
south eastern end of a second row of houses. The row has been encroached upon
by part of a medieval field system.
The field system is visible as part of a medieval furlong or field surrounding
the village on the north west and south west sides. The furlong contains the
remains of ridge and furrow cultivation; the ridges, orientated north west to
south east, are on average 6m wide and stand to a maximum height of 0.6m
between furrows 2m wide.
Some 100m north west of the settlement the remains of what is interpreted as
the mound of a post mill are situated on the summit of a natural hillock. The
remains are visible as a roughly oval-shaped depression 1m deep and 4m by 5m
across containing a slight central ridge. There are traces of a low mound on
the north and south sides. On the east and western sides the position of the
post mill is defined by a cut in the underlying medieval ridge and furrow,
indicating that the post mill was later than the ridge and furrow.

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.
The Cleveland Bench local region is a slightly elevated, undulating lowland
skirting the northern and western sides of the North York Moors. Settlement is
largely in the form of nucleated villages which were established in the Middle
Ages, and which bear traces of their original rectilinear planning. Shrunken
and deserted villages are common, now often marked only by an isolated, still
occupied, hall.

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. 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 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 defined by terminal
headlands at the plough-turning points and lateral grass balks. 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. It is usually now
covered by the hedges or walls of subsequent field enclosure.
Post mills were a form of windmills in the medieval period in which the wooden
superstructure rotated about a central vertical post. The central post was
mounted on vertical cross timbers which were stabilised by being set into a
mound. The whole superstructure of such a mill was rotated to face into the
wind by pushing a horizontal pole projecting from the mill on the opposite
side to the sails. The end of this pole was supported by a wheel and rotation
eventually resulted in a shallow ditch surrounding a mill mound. Post mills
were in use from the 12th century onwards. No medieval examples of the wooden
superstructure survive today but the mounds, typically between 15m and 25m in
diameter, survive as field monuments. In general only those mounds which are
components of larger sites or which are likely to preserve organic deposits
will be considered worthy of protection through scheduling.
The medieval settlement of Pinchinthorpe and the remains of its open field
system are reasonably well preserved and retain significant archaeological
deposits. The village is a good example of its type and taken together with
the remains of the open field system and the site of a windmill it will
contribute to our knowledge of medieval and later settlement in the region.

Source: Historic England


CCA 142,

Source: Historic England

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