Ancient Monuments

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Tunstall medieval settlement

A Scheduled Monument in Newby, North Yorkshire

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Latitude: 54.501 / 54°30'3"N

Longitude: -1.1887 / 1°11'19"W

OS Eastings: 452637.6572

OS Northings: 512048.0405

OS Grid: NZ526120

Mapcode National: GBR NJ4D.F8

Mapcode Global: WHD7D.Q448

Entry Name: Tunstall medieval settlement

Scheduled Date: 7 July 1999

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1018776

English Heritage Legacy ID: 31350

County: North Yorkshire

Civil Parish: Newby

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): North Yorkshire

Church of England Parish: Nunthorpe St Mary the Virgin

Church of England Diocese: York


The monument includes earthwork and buried remains of Tunstall medieval
settlement, located on a slight hill 3km north of Stokesley.
The village of Tunstall is recorded in the Domesday Survey in 1086, and in
1285 the manor was held by one Nicholas de Menell. It is mentioned again in
documentary sources in 1301 but after that date the village went into decline,
probably from a combination of the Black Death and associated economic
collapse and the Scottish raids of the early 14th century.
The medieval village took the form of two rows of buildings orientated north
west to south east separated by a wide village green which contained the
village street. The current farm is located at the southern end of the
medieval village street. The eastern row of medieval buildings occupied higher
ground and earthwork remains of building platforms and enclosures survive well
here. The earthworks are up to 0.5m in height and there are at least three
well defined house platforms with associated enclosures. The western row
includes two enclosures and house platforms surviving as prominent earthworks
west of the farm. Surrounding the village remains are areas of well preserved
broad ridge and furrow agriculture which are included in the scheduling. To
the east of the village and west of the farm the ridge and furrow forms
discrete blocks separated by balks and headlands. In places the ridges are up
to 10m wide and 0.4m high. South of the farm is a boggy area which is a silted
up village pond or possibly fishpond.
Tunstall Farm, its garden and farm buildings and Tunstall View and its gardens
are totally excluded form the scheduling.
A number of features are excluded from the scheduling; these are fences,
gates, electricity and telegraph poles, gas pipe markers, feeding troughs, and
all road and track surfaces; the ground beneath, all these features is,
however, 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 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 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 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 landes) 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 landes 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.
The settlement remains at Tunstall survive well and significant evidence of
the domestic and economic development of the village will be preserved.

Source: Historic England


Annis, R, Results Watching Brief at Shrunken Medieval Village of Tunstall, (1997)

Source: Historic England

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