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Medieval settlement of Little Broughton, associated field system and site of medieval chapel

A Scheduled Monument in Great and Little Broughton, North Yorkshire

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Latitude: 54.4547 / 54°27'16"N

Longitude: -1.1412 / 1°8'28"W

OS Eastings: 455776.373426

OS Northings: 506926.259766

OS Grid: NZ557069

Mapcode National: GBR NJGX.QW

Mapcode Global: WHD7M.F9S9

Entry Name: Medieval settlement of Little Broughton, associated field system and site of medieval chapel

Scheduled Date: 19 March 1999

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1018921

English Heritage Legacy ID: 31356

County: North Yorkshire

Civil Parish: Great and Little Broughton

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): North Yorkshire

Church of England Parish: Kirkby-in-Cleveland St Augustine

Church of England Diocese: York


The monument includes earthwork and buried remains of the medieval village of
Little Broughton and parts of its associated field system. It is located in
undulating land 2km east of Broughton and covers the whole of the field known
as Chapelgarth. Little Broughton Beck flows east to west through the monument
with the settlement remains located to the south and the field system remains
to the north. The beck was once much wider and formed two river terraces up to
1m high approximately 20m from the line of the current stream. The intervening
land contains a number of earthworks, some of which have been formed by
natural river action. This area is included in the monument as remains
associated with water side activities and crossing points may survive,
although obscured by the natural features.
The medieval village is mentioned in the Domesday Survey of 1086 where it is
known by the name of Broctune. The Lay Subsidy accounts of 1334 suggest that
by this date the village was a small hamlet. The village went into decline in
the 14th century, probably from a combination of the Black Death and
associated economic collapse and as a result of Scottish raids. The village
was not completely abandoned, however, as it is recorded in 1479 that there
was a mill and a chapel dedicated to St Mary at Little Broughton.
The surviving village earthworks lie to the north of a road, which lies along
the line of the medieval village street, and extend northward as far as the
edge of the river terrace. Originally there may have been further remains of
the village to the south of the road, but no earthworks now survive in this
area. The surviving earthwork remains include a row of rectangular building
platforms along the southern side of the monument fronting onto the village
street. These survive as low earthen banks up to 0.5m high and measuring up to
15m east to west by 5m north to south. At the western end of the row is a
hollow way extending northward with further remains of buildings along the
eastern side. To the rear (north) of the building platforms are a series of
rectangular yards up to 30m long. At the northern side of these is a narrow
trackway which formed a back lane at the rear with further, smaller building
platforms and enclosures between the track and the edge of the river terrace.
There is a reference in the medieval document known as the Black Book of
Hexham to a chapel at Little Broughton, after which the name Chapelgarth is
taken. The location of the chapel is uncertain.
On the northern side of the river the ground rises northward from the edge of
the river terrace. Approximately 40m up the slope and extending east to west
across the central part of the field there is a 3m wide terrace which is the
remains of a trackway. To the north of the trackway is an area of broad ridge
and furrow orientated north to south with a prominent bank known as a balk
along the eastern edge separating it from a further area of ridge and furrow
to the east. In the north eastern corner of this area of ridge and furrow
there are the earthwork remains of a rectangular, agricultural building
measuring 15m north to south by 7m east to west. South west of this at the
edge of the ridge and furrow and adjacent to the end of the trackway there is
a circular earthwork, 4m in diameter, which is interpreted as the remains of a
stack stand used for drying corn. At the western end of the trackway there is
another area of ridge and furrow orientated east to west which extends from
the north of the monument to the river. Where the trackway meets this area of
ridge and furrow there is a series of small low earthworks representing
boundaries, small enclosures and buildings associated with the working of the
field system. Between the trackway and the river terrace there are faint
traces of ridge and furrow.
The footbridge and two buried water/sewerage tanks 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 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 of Little Broughton survives well and significant evidence of
the domestic and economic development of the settlement will be preserved.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Grifiths, M, Medieval Villages of the Tees Lowlands, (1976)
Grifiths, M, Medieval Villages of the Tees Lowlands, (1976)
SMR entry,

Source: Historic England

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