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Medieval settlement remains 230m north west and 140m west of the junction of Main Street and Hothorpe Road

A Scheduled Monument in Theddingworth, Leicestershire

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Latitude: 52.4666 / 52°27'59"N

Longitude: -1.0211 / 1°1'16"W

OS Eastings: 466595.977199

OS Northings: 285852.009934

OS Grid: SP665858

Mapcode National: GBR 9R2.6NL

Mapcode Global: VHDQY.880G

Entry Name: Medieval settlement remains 230m north west and 140m west of the junction of Main Street and Hothorpe Road

Scheduled Date: 31 December 1987

Last Amended: 19 March 1999

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1018836

English Heritage Legacy ID: 30252

County: Leicestershire

Civil Parish: Theddingworth

Traditional County: Leicestershire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Leicestershire

Church of England Parish: Theddingworth All Saints

Church of England Diocese: Leicester


The monument includes the abandoned areas of the medieval village of Tediworde
and lies within two areas of protection, 230m north west and 140m west of the
junction of Main Street and Hothorpe Road.

In the first area of protection the remains consist of earthworks and buried
features located in relation to a hollow way or main throughfare through the
settlement. The hollow way survives as a linear depression a maximum of 10m in
width and 0.8m in depth which runs on a NNW-SSE axis for approximately 220m
before being truncated by a modern property boundary. The location of a series
of buildings adjacent to the eastern side of the hollow way are marked by a
number of house platforms which are visible as low rectangular mounds. Gardens
and paddocks associated with the buildings are represented by rectangular
strip enclosures a maximum of 70m in length, the long axes of which are
approximately orientated east-west. The eastern boundary of these enclosures
is marked by a shallow trackway up to 5m in width and 0.5m in depth which runs
parallel with the hollow way for its entire length and continues up the hill.
The location of a rectangular building covering an area approximately 18m by
25m is defined by a series of low linear banks immediately east of the
southern end of the trackway. A small pond situated on the south western side
of the hollow way is delineated by a sub-circular depression approximately 10m
in diameter and 0.9m in depth. Immediately north of the pond is a large
rectangular paddock covering an area approximately 50m by 60m. On the northern
side of the paddock are at least two further house platforms and a 50m length
of trackway orientated on a north east-south west axis.

In the second area of protection the remains consist of earthworks and buried
features delineating a hollow way, a series of gardens or agricultural
enclosures and the locations of buildings. The hollow way consists of a linear
depression a maximum of 75m in length, 8m in width and 1m in depth orientated
on a north east-south west axis. A broad trackway curves from its southern
side, with a series of faint linear banks possibly marking the location of
buildings in the area to the east adjacent to the road. A pair of parallel
ditches abutting the northern side of the hollow way define a rectangular
enclosure 20m in width and 55m in length. A rectangular raised platform
covering an area approximately 70m by 50m abuts the south western side of the
enclosure. The platform is roughly divided into three, each part probably
marking an individual plot. A short length of sunken trackway up to 5m in
width delineates the south eastern side of the platform.

At the time of the Domesday survey in 1086 the settlement of Tediworde had 41
inhabitants and was in the ownership of Hugo Lupus, Earl of Chester. By 1564
40 families were recorded as being in the village. Documents suggest that
William Brocas, the lord of the Manor from 1576 until his death in 1601 was
responsible for the first enclosures. Brocas gradually increased his holdings
so that by 1576 he owned more than four fifths of the village. In about 1582
he reached agreement with the remaining seven freeholders to enclose 140 acres
into seven separate closes. By 1691 around 240 acres had been enclosed. An
enclosure map of 1696 shows the village as it then was in some detail. The
first area had largely been converted to pasture by this time and was known as
Home Close. However, a large house is clearly depicted in the area immediately
east of what is now the cemetery. The owner of the house was listed as Daniell
Robins, and the hearth tax returns for 1666 name a John Robins as having seven
hearths, more than any other occupier in the village. Both documents probably
refer to the same building. The 1696 enclosure map shows the second area to
have included at least 13 houses at this time, and also clearly depicts the
hollow way on its north eastern side.

All fences and feed 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.
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 vary 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. 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.

The remains of the areas of abandoned medieval habitation at Theddingworth
survive particularly well in the form of a series of substantial earthworks.
Both areas have remained largely under pasture with little significant
disturbance with the result that the preservation of buried deposits will also
be good, and will provide important information about the economy, form and
dating of the settlement. As a result of the survival of extensive historical
documentation relating to the site and archaeological survey the remains are
very well understood and will provide an important insight into the processes
underlying the shifting and abandonment of areas of habitation to form the
layout of the modern village.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Nichols, J, The History and Antiquities of the County of Leicestershire, (1800)
Page, W , The Victoria History of the County of Leicester, (1964)
Farnham, G.F., Leicestershire Medieval Village Notes, 1933,
Hartley, R F, (1988)
Hunting Aviation, 1:10000, (1970)
Title: Enclosure plan of the Lordships of Theddingworth and Hoothorpe
Source Date: 1696

Source: Historic England

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