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Medieval village remains immediately south of the church

A Scheduled Monument in Carlton Curlieu, Leicestershire

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Latitude: 52.566 / 52°33'57"N

Longitude: -0.9791 / 0°58'44"W

OS Eastings: 469297.509932

OS Northings: 296950.964151

OS Grid: SP692969

Mapcode National: GBR 9PY.59D

Mapcode Global: WHFKX.XRYQ

Entry Name: Medieval village remains immediately south of the church

Scheduled Date: 2 December 1998

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1018577

English Heritage Legacy ID: 30245

County: Leicestershire

Civil Parish: Carlton Curlieu

Traditional County: Leicestershire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Leicestershire

Church of England Parish: Carlton Curlieu and Burton Overy

Church of England Diocese: Leicester


The monument includes the abandoned medieval settlement remains of the village
of Carlton Curlieu, located immediately south of the parish church.
The remains of the deserted areas of the medieval village take the form of a
series of earthworks and buried features located in relation to two hollow
ways which comprise the principal thoroughfares through the settlement. The
southern hollow way is a maximum of 15m in width, 1.5m in depth and runs for
190m on an east-west axis from the Carlton-Kibworth road. A series of up to
seven parallel field boundaries run from the hollow way to a brook 90m to the
north. The easternmost boundary ditch feeds into a pond situated immediately
south of the brook which survives as a sub-rectangular depression up to 30m in
length, 10m in width and 1.5m in depth. A second pond consisting of a semi-
embanked depression approximately 20m in length, 8m in width and 1m in depth
is situated immediately north of the brook. A further series of parallel
boundaries run from the opposite side of the hollow way to a trackway 90m to
the south, the western half of which survives as a shallow east-west linear
depression approximately 10m in width and up to 160m in length. Within the
areas between the field boundaries either side of the hollow way are a number
of rectangular house platforms and small embanked enclosures or tofts and
crofts. The enclosures represent areas of cultivation associated with the
dwellings in the form of gardens, smallholdings and paddocks. The northern-
most of the two hollow ways begins in a broad depression 30m south of the
church which narrows to 12m and runs southwards for 30m before turning sharply
west and continuing for a further 130m. A pond approximately 20m in length, 8m
in width and 1.8m in depth adjoins the north western end of the hollow way. A
second pond a maximum of 30m in length is situated 50m north of the hollow
way. An area of medieval cultivation in the form of ridge and furrow measuring
approximately 180m by 80m adjoins the southern side of the hollow way and is
enclosed at its eastern end by a north-south ditch approximately 70m in length
and 4m in width. A further area of ridge and furrow cultivation is situated
immediately north of the western end of the hollow way. A third, more
extensive area of ridge and furrow cultivation approximately 150m by 320m
adjoins the southern trackway, and is divided by a series of north-south
baulks or headlands. These areas are the remains of the village's fields,
and are therefore included in the scheduling.
Carlton Curlieu was listed as Carlintone in the Domesday survey of 1086, its
two lordships being held by Hugh de Grentesmainell and under the manor of
Bowden. Hugh de Grentesmainell subsequently gave the church and five virgates
of land to the abbot and convent of St Ebrulf in Normandy. The lordship then
passed to the Curli family, but with the death of the last male heir, Robert
de Curli in 1274, was split between his daughters Joan de Hastings and Alice
de Nevill. The second lordship was granted to the priory of Ullescroft in
1356, being bought after the dissolution by the Bales of Saddington, and then
in 1654 by Sir Geoffrey Palmer.
All fences, walls, feed troughs and concrete posts 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.
This monument lies in the East Midlands sub-Province of the Central Province,
an area characterised in the Middle Ages by large numbers of nucleated
settlements. The sites of many of these settlements are now occupied by modern
villages, but others have been partially or wholly deserted and are marked by
earthwork remains. Most of these settlements were first documented in the 11th
century, in Domesday Book. The southern part of the sub-Province has greater
variety of settlement, with dispersed farmsteads and hamlets intermixed with
the villages. Whilst some of the dispersed settlements are post-medieval,
others may represent much older farming landscapes.
The Soar Valley and Nene Plateau local region comprises the low hill country
of the Soar Valley and, to the south east, a low plateau dissected by the
tributaries of the Nene and Welland. Nucleated villages and hamlets dominate
the region, but gaps are found within the pattern in Rockingham Forest, in
Rutland and in High Leicestershire where they are linked to the location of
woodland in and before the 11th century.

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 include the parish church within
their boundaries, and as part of the manorial system most villages include 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 divided into
strips which were allocated to individual tenants. The cultivation of these
strips with heavy ploughs produced long, wide ridges, and the resultant `ridge
and furrow', where it survives, is the most obvious physical indication of the
open field system. 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 remains of the deserted areas of the medieval settlement of Carlton
Curlieu survive particularly well as a series of substantial earthworks. They
remain largely undisturbed with the result that the preservation of
archaeological deposits is likely to be good, and will provide an insight into
the economy, development and eventual decline of the settlement. In addition,
organic deposits relating to the use of Carlton Curlieu are likely to survive
in the area of the ponds and the brook, and will provide information about the
environment in which the settlement was established. The diversity of the
archaeological remains compliment the existing documentary evidence and
together provide a rare historical sequence for the village which will add
greatly to our knowledge and understanding of the nature of medieval
settlement in the area.

Source: Historic England


Hartley, R F, (1983)
Holyoak, V, (1997)
Title: A Plan of the land adjoining the seat of Sir John Palmer Bart.
Source Date: 1781

Source: Historic England

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