Ancient Monuments

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Blackpark medieval farmstead 140m south of Blackpark Lodge

A Scheduled Monument in Cropton, North Yorkshire

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Latitude: 54.3057 / 54°18'20"N

Longitude: -0.8475 / 0°50'51"W

OS Eastings: 475085.77408

OS Northings: 490626.101557

OS Grid: SE750906

Mapcode National: GBR QLJN.98

Mapcode Global: WHF9N.Y1LH

Entry Name: Blackpark medieval farmstead 140m south of Blackpark Lodge

Scheduled Date: 22 January 1964

Last Amended: 21 January 1999

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1018595

English Heritage Legacy ID: 30154

County: North Yorkshire

Civil Parish: Cropton

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): North Yorkshire

Church of England Parish: Cropton St Gregory

Church of England Diocese: York


The monument includes the buried and earthwork remains of a medieval farmstead
sited on top of a ridge between the River Seven to the west and a stream that
runs into Cropton Beck to the east.
The monument includes two adjoining embanked enclosures oriented NNE to SSW.
The northern enclosure is roughly square measuring 58m east-west and 62m north
south internally, surrounded by a bank up to 1m high with an external ditch
typically 4m wide and up to 0.5m deep. The northern third of this enclosure is
divided from the rest of the monument by a later field boundary and is in turn
divided into two by a further boundary which at one time continued southwards
splitting the monument into an eastern and western half. This boundary, which
postdates the monument, can be traced as a slight bank running SSW. Extending
southwards from the first enclosure there is a larger, rectangular enclosure
measuring approximately 90m by 70m. This second enclosure is surrounded by a
low bank 4m wide and a mainly infilled external ditch 3m to 4m wide. The
southern part of the western side has a slight outward bulge. There is a
causeway between the two enclosures just to the east of the centre line. To
the east of this there is a second gap in the bank of the northern enclosure
which marks the site of a small excavation conducted by Raymond Hayes in 1958.
This excavation uncovered an irregular layer of stones that was interpreted as
a rough paved surface on the inside of the northern enclosure. The interiors
of both enclosures include a number of level areas and slight hollows which
are believed to be the sites of medieval farm buildings and associated
features. The additional earthwork features which lie in the narrow area
between the eastern ditch and the edge of the field are also included in the
Excluded from the scheduling are the drystone wall and all modern fence posts
and telegraph poles that cross the monument, although the ground beneath these
features is included.

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.
It includes a 2 metre boundary around the archaeological features,
considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.

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 East Yorkshire sub-Province of the Central Province,
an area characterised by marked local terrain variations: from the North York
Moors, to the Tabular Hills and Howardian Hills, to the Vale of Pickering and
the chalk Wolds, to the Hull Valley and the silt lands of the Humber and
Holderness. The sub-Province has the relatively low density of dispersed
settlements which marks the Central Province, but this uniformity masks strong
settlement contrasts. Some regions were typified by low density dispersed
settlement in the Middle Ages, whereas others have achieved a similar pattern
through extensive depopulation of medieval villages.
The North York Moors local region is an upland area given over to rough
grazing, diversified by a succession of broad dales. Village settlements are
almost wholly absent, and the region is generally characterised by low
densities of dispersed farmsteads and other dwellings, with patches of higher
density settlement where industrial activity has led to the rise of hamlets,
some of medieval date. Along the sides of the dales are lines of long
established farmsteads.

Farmsteads, normally occupied by one or two families and comprising small
groups of buildings with attached yards, gardens and enclosures, were a
characteristic feature of the medieval rural landscape. They occur throughout
the country, the intensity of their distribution determined by local
topography and the nature of the agricultural system prevalent in the area.
They were the dominant settlement form in some areas of dispersed settlement;
elsewhere they existed alongside more nucleated settlement patterns. The sites
of many farmsteads have been occupied down to the present day, but others were
abandoned for a number of reasons including declining economic viability,
enclosure or emparkment, or epidemics like the Black Death. Farmsteads are a
common and long-lived settlement type; the archaeological deposits on those
which were abandoned are often well preserved and provide important
information on regional and national settlement patterns and farming
Blackpark is a well preserved example of a medieval farmstead which would have
been one of the typical components of the dispersed medieval settlement on the
southern fringes of the North York Moors.
Post holes and beam slots are expected to survive to provide evidence of the
buildings within the monument. Buried deposits in rubbish and storage pits,
together with archaeological deposits in the infill in the bottom of the
ditches, will also provide valuable information about the life and economy of
the site.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Hayes, R H, 'Scarborough District Archaeological Society Journal' in Earthwork at Blackpark in the parish of Cropton, , Vol. V2, no12, (1969), 14-16

Source: Historic England

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