Ancient Monuments

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Medieval settlement immediately north west of Upper Littlecott Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Hilmarton, Wiltshire

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Latitude: 51.4929 / 51°29'34"N

Longitude: -1.9555 / 1°57'19"W

OS Eastings: 403187.071474

OS Northings: 177107.767923

OS Grid: SU031771

Mapcode National: GBR 3TN.BG0

Mapcode Global: VHB3Q.2Q2X

Entry Name: Medieval settlement immediately north west of Upper Littlecott Farm

Scheduled Date: 15 February 1999

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1018420

English Heritage Legacy ID: 31647

County: Wiltshire

Civil Parish: Hilmarton

Traditional County: Wiltshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Wiltshire

Church of England Parish: Hilmarton St Lawrence

Church of England Diocese: Salisbury


The monument includes the remains of a medieval settlement located on the
eastern side of a small river valley, cut into coral rag, 2.6km north west of
the chalk scarp of the Marlborough Downs.
The monument includes a hollow way up to 1.6m deep and 10m wide running south
east-north west down the side of the valley for a length of 140m. It is
flanked on either side by substantial house platforms, up to 2m high set into
the hillside. At its lower end, the hollow way opens out where it meets
another shorter section running south west-north east for 40m. To the north
east, another shallower hollow way, 0.6m deep running parallel to the main
street is interpreted as a back lane to the settlement.
Land in Littlecott (then Lytla Coton) was included in a grant dated AD 962 of
ten estates in Hilmarton by King Edgar to thegne Wulfmaer. The descent of
ownership can be traced from 1242 until the present day. It was assessed for
tax in 1334, for a sum of 26 shillings. The estate was granted to Bradenstoke
Priory in 1448, and, after the Dissolution of the Monasteries, to William
Button. By 1773 the settlement has shrunk to two farms, Upper and Lower
Littlecott, as it remains today.
All fence posts and cattle troughs 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 last 1500 years or more.
The Upper Avon and Thames local region has mixed characteristics, with
elements of both `village' and `woodland' landscapes. It is distinguished by
substantial densities of villages and hamlets associated with moderate numbers
of scattered farmsteads, giving a rather dense overall pattern, but the region
still carried woodland in 1086, and the Braden and Chippenham Forests reflect

The medieval settlement at Upper Littlecott Farm is well preserved
and is a good example of its class displaying particularly substantial and
well defined features. The estate and settlement of Littlecott is well
documented from the early medieval period onwards.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Crittall, E, The Victoria History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume IX, (1970), 56-57

Source: Historic England

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