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Medieval settlement and open field system immediately north of Old Hall

A Scheduled Monument in Hulland, Derbyshire

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Latitude: 53.0199 / 53°1'11"N

Longitude: -1.6399 / 1°38'23"W

OS Eastings: 424249.6985

OS Northings: 347017.2032

OS Grid: SK242470

Mapcode National: GBR 5B5.L72

Mapcode Global: WHCF6.SC86

Entry Name: Medieval settlement and open field system immediately north of Old Hall

Scheduled Date: 3 July 2000

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1019398

English Heritage Legacy ID: 29960

County: Derbyshire

Civil Parish: Hulland

Traditional County: Derbyshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Derbyshire

Church of England Parish: Hulland Christ Church

Church of England Diocese: Derby


The monument includes the earthwork and buried remains of the abandoned areas
of Hulland medieval settlement and parts of its open field system. The
monument is situated at the north west end of the currently occupied village
of Hulland, on a terrace which drops steeply to the south. Hulland Hollow
Brook runs north to south through the monument in a narrow, steep sided
In the Domesday Book of 1086 it is documented that there were two manors at
Hoilant (Hulland) one known as Hulland the other as Hough. The manor of
Hulland was valued at 35 shillings and was granted to Godfrey Azelin by
William the Conqueror whilst that of Hough was valued at 40 shillings and
granted to Henry de Ferrers. The remains of the Hough manorial complex are
still visible today on the north bank of Hulland Hollow Brook and survive as a
moat, the site of a chapel, fishponds and building platforms. They are the
subject of a separate scheduling. Old Hall Farm, which was built in 1692 by
John Barrow, is thought to have replaced the moated manorial site although the
chantry chapel remained in use until at least 1712. The location of Hulland
manor is not documented.
The monument survives as a series of well preserved earthworks which lie
between Fullwood Farm and The Green on the north side of the modern A517 road.
The remains of dwellings and associated buildings lie in the eastern half of
the monument where a series of earth covered banks, up to 1m in height,
delineate a group of rectangular platforms. Two of the platforms are adjacent
to the modern road but the remainder lie side by side at right angles to the
road along the eastern edge of a sunken track. The platforms are interpreted
as the site of medieval buildings with the banks representing the buried
remains of walls. The sunken track is aligned roughly north to south and is
terraced into the valley side with the ground dropping quite steeply on the
western side towards Hulland Hollow Brook. At its southern end the track
intersects with a second sunken track which curves off to the east. The
alignment of this track suggests it was originally a continuation of the
street which runs through the currently occupied areas of Hulland village.
Three enclosures which are aligned north to south lie to the east of the
building platforms and abut the eastern edge of the protected area but are set
back from the modern road. The use of a field gate and modern field track
which are situated adjacent to the property known as The Green, has caused
some degradation of the earthworks in this area. As a result, the southern
boundaries of the three enclosures are difficult to determine but they are
interpreted as crofts or small enclosures lying behind the medieval houses.
The remains of part of the medieval open field system lie in the western half
of the monument where the surviving remains are visible as parts of at least
two furlongs (groups of lands or cultivation strips) marked by headlands. The
cultivation strips collectively form ridge and furrow which survive to a
height of approximately 0.3m.
In the field immediately east of Fullwood Farm, and situated in the north west
corner of the protected area, is a large sub-rectangular enclosure which is
defined on two sides by a ditch approximately 8m wide and 1m deep. The
enclosure measures approximately 25m by 28m but the northern side of the ditch
has been obscured by a field boundary and drainage ditch and the western side
by Fullwood Farm and its associated buildings. The ground surface inside the
enclosure is higher than that outside the ditch and displays slight earthworks
in the form of banks and ditches. It is possible that the earthworks
represent the buried remains of building platforms but the precise layout of
these earthworks is difficult to determine on the ground. The eastern arm of
the enclosure ditch continues to the south for approximately 36m beyond the
enclosure before turning to the west for approximately 30m where it is
truncated by the modern farm track. This serves to create a second sub
rectangular enclosure which again displays archaeological features in the form
of earthworks on its internal surface. It is suggested that the ditched
enclosures represent the site of Hulland Manor, which, from its hill top
location would have provided a formidable position from which the lord of the
manor could exert his authority over the tenants of the medieval settlement.
Modern field drainage systems have been laid within the area of the monument
and have caused some degradation of the earthworks but these are generally
easy to locate and clearly distinguished from the archaeological features. A
number of drain covers are visible in the field to the west of the Hulland
Hollow Brook with one lying in the ditch surrounding the enclosures.
All modern fencing, gates, drain covers and the bridge over Hulland Hollow
Brook 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 West Midland Plateau sub-Province of the Northern
and Western Province, which is marked by a series of low plateaux and
escarpments, often with rather sandy soils, and great clay vales containing
alluvial and gravel terraces. Still well wooded in 1086, the area embraced
forests such as Kinver, Feckenham, Cannock and Arden. Compared with the land
to the east, the area had significantly lower numbers of nucleations and, with
the exception of the Severn valley, carried a mixture of medium to very high
densities of dispersed settlement. This included diverse hamlets, common-edge
scatters of small farms and cottages, and isolated larger farmsteads,
generally moated, many being of medieval foundation.
The Upper Trent and Dove local region is marked by varied terrain. The
alluvial tracts and terraces of the Trent and Dove mask a core clay lowland,
with Needwood Forest forming the watershed, while to the north and south are
the rising lands of Cannock Chase and the southern Pennines. It has low
densities of nucleated settlement, and medium and high densities of dispersed
settlement. Placenames indicate much woodland in the early 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 include the parish church
within their boundaries, and as part of the manorial system most villages
include one or more manorial centres which may also survive as visible remains
as well as below ground deposits. 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.
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 lands) 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 lands were laid out in groups known as furlongs defined by terminal
headlands at the plough turning-points and lateral grass baulks. 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 medieval settlement and open field system immediately north of Old Hall
are well preserved and retain significant archaeological deposits. The
earthworks indicate the layout of the early village and how it fitted within
the wider medieval landscape. Taken together with the remains of the open
field system and the abandoned areas of the medieval settlement, they will add
greatly to our knowledge and understanding of the development and subsequent
shrinkage of medieval settlement in the area.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Page, W, The Victoria History of the County of Derbyshire: Volume II, (1907)
Project report 458.1, Badcock, A, Archaeological Desk -Based Assessment of land at Fullwood Farm, (1998)
Schedule Entry Nat. Mon. No. 13290, Hulland Old Hall moat, enclosure, chapel site and four fishponds, (1992)

Source: Historic England

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