Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

This site is entirely user-supported. See how you can help.

Medieval settlement at Wolfhampcote

A Scheduled Monument in Wolfhampcote, Warwickshire

We don't have any photos of this monument yet. Why don't you be the first to send us one?

Upload Photo »

Approximate Location Map
Large Map »

If Google Street View is available, the image is from the best available vantage point looking, if possible, towards the location of the monument. Where it is not available, the satellite view is shown instead.


Latitude: 52.285 / 52°17'6"N

Longitude: -1.2259 / 1°13'33"W

OS Eastings: 452904.679193

OS Northings: 265493.481876

OS Grid: SP529654

Mapcode National: GBR 8RL.NX5

Mapcode Global: VHCV4.PTSN

Entry Name: Medieval settlement at Wolfhampcote

Scheduled Date: 19 January 1967

Last Amended: 27 September 1999

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1019026

English Heritage Legacy ID: 30063

County: Warwickshire

Civil Parish: Wolfhampcote

Traditional County: Warwickshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Warwickshire

Church of England Parish: Flecknoe St Mark

Church of England Diocese: Coventry


The monument includes the buried and earthwork remains of the medieval
settlement of Wolfhampcote, located on the western banks of the River Leam on
the Warwickshire/Northamptonshire border. The remains also include the moated
manor house associated with the village, and an area of medieval ridge and
furrow cultivation.

Wolfhampcote derives its name from the Saxon name Ufelm and means `Ufelmes
manor'. By 1086 the village was held by Turchil of Arden and already had a
priest and approximately 25 householders. Manorial records trace the history
of the site into the 17th century, although the population of the village
declined during the 14th and 15th century. A public enquiry of 1517 found
that two specific acts of depopulation had occurred; in 1501 John Ferres
enclosed 30 acres which were in complete ruin; and in 1510 Richard Quyney
dispossessed six tenants when he enclosed a further 40 acres.

Excavations carried out at the site in 1955 demonstrated occupation from the
Anglo-Saxon period, while the height of the population is thought to have
occurred during the 12th and 13th centuries. The subsequent population
decline coincided with climatic deterioration which is indicated by a period
of road improvement and ditch digging in an attempt to improve the drainage at
the waterlogged site.

The settlement remains include an area of house sites including building
platforms and yards (or tofts) and the allotments or extended garden plots
associated with the dwellings (or crofts). They are defined by raised
platforms and minor hollow ways forming an irregular grid system laid out
along the side of a road, orientated east to west. The main street, which led
from the site of the manor to the east, towards the village fields to the
west, measures approximately 8m to 15m wide and is heavily cambered with
evidence of flanking ditches on either side. The raised platforms of the tofts
are clearly visible and vary in size, measuring between 15m and 50m wide and
approximately 20m long. The crofts are also defined by raised platforms
separated by hollow ways, measuring up to 1m deep and 5m wide. These delineate
regular enclosures approximately 30m long and as wide as the house platforms
lying to the rear of the house sites. Additional rows of houses may have been
located within some of the crofts which appear to have been internally

Several hollow ways, orientated north to south, cross the arrangement of tofts
and crofts and run towards the medieval ridge and furrow cultivation remains.
They are believed to be access routes to the fields. The western extent of
the settlement was defined by the River Leam, whilst medieval ridge and furrow
remains of village fields defined the site to the north, east and west of the
settlement. A sample of the cultivation remains are included in the scheduling
to preserve their relationship with the settlement.

In the eastern part of the monument, lying at the head of the main street, are
the remains of a large octagonal moat which included the site of the medieval
manor house and associated buildings. The moat is up to 2.5m deep and 10m
wide. The remains of an external bank, measuring up to 6m wide and 2.5m high,
are best defined on the external side of the south eastern and north eastern
moat arms where the falling topography required the greatest engineering. The
island measures approximately 65m by 55m, orientated north to south. The
uneven surface of the island indicates that the buried remains of buildings
will survive. To the west of the moated site are remains of a large irregular
quarry and at least one large sub-rectangular fishpond which lay between the
moat and the river. The fishpond is retained on its eastern side by a large
earthen bank 10m to 12m wide and up to 1.5m high. The pond is 8m to 12m wide
and up to 40m long. It is quite regular in shape and may have had an
ornamental function, providing the impression of a second moat on the
downslope side of the manor house. A leat returning to the river survives in
the northern end of the pond.

St Peter's Church, a Grade II* Listed Building, is located south of the
village remains. The present church dates largely from 14th and 15th
centuries, although evidence of an earlier structure is believed to exist
beneath it. The base of the tower is of earlier date, and the font is Anglo-
Saxon. The list of vicars is continuous from 1248 suggesting use of the site
for worship over a considerable time. The surrounding churchyard served as the
burial place of the majority of the medieval population, including the lords
of the manor. Within the churchyard are situated approximately 50 memorials
between 17th and 19th century in date, eight late 17th century headstones and
one 17th century chest tomb. They are all Listed Grade II.

Any settlement remains which may have survived to the south of the church have
been obscured by the later railway embankment and cuttings. This area is not
therefore included in the scheduling.

A number of features within the area of protection are excluded from the
scheduling, these are the 17th century barn west of the church and all modern
surfaces and fences; the ground beneath all of these features is, however,

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 past 1500 years or more.
This monument lies in the Inner Midlands sub-Province of the Central Province,
an area characterised by large numbers of nucleated settlements, both
surviving and deserted, many of which are thought to have been established in
Anglo-Saxon times. Most of the sub-Province's thinly scattered dispersed
settlements were created in post-medieval times, but some of the local regions
are characterised by higher proportions of dispersed dwellings and hamlets,
which probably mark the patchy survival of older landscapes.
The Stour-Avon-Soar Clay Vales local region is dominated by village and hamlet
settlements. It was once characterised by large townfields under communal
cultivation, traces which survive as ridge and furrow earthworks. It contains
the sites of many depopulated villages and hamlets, perhaps up to one third of
the total number of such settlements which existed in the Middle Ages.

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.

The medieval settlement at Wolfhampcote survives as a well documented complex
which will provide information upon the size and form of the site, including
the layout of buildings, crofts, fields and roads. This will provide evidence
about both the growth and development of the settlement and the use of the
private areas of land by individuals in comparison to the activities
undertaken on common land and public space. Those areas which have been partly
infilled, such as the moat, ponds and quarries will be expected to preserve
buried deposits, including evidence for their construction, use and any
alterations which occurred.

Excavations have confirmed that the buried remains of former buildings and
artefacts survive well. The buried building remains will preserve evidence
about the building techniques, dates of construction and any alterations over
time, whilst artefacts and environmental deposits provide evidence for the
lifestyle of their tenants, including the sources of materials used in every
day items.

The churchyard at Wolfhampcote is believed to preserve the skeletal remains
of the inhabitants of the medieval settlement and will include an extensive
sample of the rural population. These will provide information about the
dietary conditions, age and health of the rural population, and will allow
statistical analysis of the changes in the population of medieval

In addition, the survival of burial goods and artefacts such as coffin
fittings will provide information about changing funerary practices in the
settlement throughout the medieval and post-medieval period.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Beresford, M W, Deserted Villages of Warwickshire, (1954), 98-9
Birmingham Museum service, , 'annual report' in Excavations at Wolfhamcote, , Vol. 3, (1955)

Source: Historic England

Other nearby scheduled monuments is an independent online resource and is not associated with any government department. All government data published here is used under licence. Please do not contact for any queries related to any individual ancient or schedued monument, planning permission related to scheduled monuments or the scheduling process itself. is a Good Stuff website.