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Stallingborough medieval settlement, post-medieval manor house and formal gardens

A Scheduled Monument in Stallingborough, North East Lincolnshire

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Latitude: 53.5882 / 53°35'17"N

Longitude: -0.1962 / 0°11'46"W

OS Eastings: 519494.915126

OS Northings: 411688.45816

OS Grid: TA194116

Mapcode National: GBR WV2Y.9G

Mapcode Global: WHHHQ.Y2QK

Entry Name: Stallingborough medieval settlement, post-medieval manor house and formal gardens

Scheduled Date: 8 October 1979

Last Amended: 7 March 2002

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1020423

English Heritage Legacy ID: 34711

County: North East Lincolnshire

Civil Parish: Stallingborough

Built-Up Area: Stallingborough

Traditional County: Lincolnshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Lincolnshire

Church of England Parish: Stallingborough St Peter and St Paul

Church of England Diocese: Lincoln


The monument includes earthwork and associated buried remains of part of the
settlement of Stallingborough, together with the earthworks of a post-medieval
manor house and associated formal gardens. These all lie to the west of the
modern settlement, extending around and to the south of the 18th century
church of St Peter and St Paul.
At the time of the Domesday survey in 1086, Stallingborough, with a recorded
population of 47, was the third largest settlement in northern Lincolnshire,
only smaller than Barton and Grimsby. It was divided into three manors, the
largest of which was held by Norman de Arci who held rights over one freeman,
18 villagers and one smallholder along with half of the revenue from the
church. This manor subsequently passed through the Tailbois family to the
Ayscoughs in the 15th century, and then to the Boucheretts in 1699. At this
time the manor house lay to the west of the church, within the area of the
monument. Henry III (1216-72) granted the right to hold a weekly market and
annual fair to the manor that was confirmed to Sir William Ayscough by Henry
VIII in 1529. Surviving tax records in the early 14th century imply a
population of 50-60 households, but it is thought that this was severely
reduced in the middle of the century by the Black Death and other factors,
because Stallingborough was granted 70% tax relief in 1352. Records indicate
that there must have been at least 10 households by 1428, but the settlement
was still receiving around 20% tax relief in 1448 and 1463. By 1563, possibly
as a result of the re-establishment of the regular market and fair, the
settlement had expanded to 150 households. In the 17th century there is some
evidence of depopulation, but it appears to have been mainly in the 18th
century that the settlement rapidly contracted once more, this time through
the action of the Boucherett family enclosing land and reducing the number of
tenants. In the 1720s there were around 120 families in the parish, but
following the enclosure of the medieval open fields in 1736-37, this had
dropped to 67 households by 1758. The settlement is believed to have steadily
contracted still further, starting to rise again towards the end of the
century. By the time of the first national census in 1801, Stallingborough had
a population of 274 people in 59 houses.
The monument was surveyed by the Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments
of England in autumn 1978. This survey identified two main groups of
earthworks. The first is an extensive area of village earthworks, standing up
to 1m high, representing streets, building platforms and closes laid out in
the medieval period and at least in part occupied up to the early 18th
century. The second area lies around the northern side of the churchyard and
represents the remains of a post-medieval manor house and the earthworks of
the associated formal gardens. In addition, the survey sketch plotted further
village earthworks to the west using aerial photographs taken before the area
was levelled in the spring of 1978. Also noted were the crop marks of formal
garden features to the north of the railway line. However, both of these areas
of ploughed out earthworks are not included in the monument.
The medieval village of Stallingborough was originally located on the edge of
the salt marsh that has since been almost totally reclaimed. A low hill formed
an early settlement focus and this elevated position was used for the church
and the principal manor house of the village. To the south of this was a main
street running east-west, forming a routeway connecting the other salt marsh
side villages. Part of this street remains in use as Pinfold Lane and is
continued across the southern part of the monument as a hollow way. Extending
northwards from this main street, forming the western side of the monument and
running past the west side of the manor and church is another hollow way. This
has a couple of branches off to the north east, the first joining Church Lane
where the modern road dog-legs and the second heading towards the church
itself. All of these hollow ways are flanked by the remains of medieval and
post-medieval properties defined by banks and/or ditches with raised platforms
marking the sites of buildings. All of these earthworks are at most 1m high,
typically lower. The survey identified four platforms where the remains of
brick buildings could be identified. Two of these measure about 17m by 6.5m,
divided into two rooms. To the rear of the enclosures fronting onto the
streets there are further, normally rectangular, closes defined by low banks
or ditches. These represent small paddocks or crofts and generally do not
include sites of buildings. However, many to the south of the hollow way
joining Church Lane show evidence of earlier arable cultivation in the form of
ridge and furrow. This suggests that the properties across the southern half
of the monument were laid out over part of the settlement's open fields,
perhaps during the 16th century expansion of the village.
The current late 18th century church of St Peter and St Paul was constructed
on the site of the medieval church that collapsed in 1746, at about the same
time as the demolition of the Ayscough's manor house. The broad terrace for
this house lies to the north west of the church, partly within the western
extension of the churchyard. Stretching out to the north of this was a set of
formal gardens considered to have been laid out in the first quarter of the
17th century and bisected by the railway line in the 19th century. Within the
area of the monument, at right angles to the ends of the terrace, there are
two ponds extending northwards, and to the east there is an irregular curving
hollow up to 2m deep and 6m wide forming a boundary feature. Extending
southwards from the western end of the manor house terrace there is a large
deep depression 20m by 35m retaining areas of brickwork. This marks the
cellars of a large west wing that was added to the older manor house in the
early years of the 18th century. This was known as Stallingborough House and
was drawn in 1795 by C Nattes, five years after the Boucheretts had moved to
their new house at North Willingham. Stallingborough House is not thought to
have ever been re-occupied and was demolished between 1842 and 1844. To the
south of this depression and also to the east of the church, there are several
irregular scoops which are interpreted as the source of some of the material
for the garden landscaping to the north. However, these two areas also retain
low earthworks which are considered to be further medieval settlement remains
cleared at the time of the construction of the gardens in the early 17th
A number of features are excluded from the scheduling: these are all modern
fences, styles and gates, water troughs and the platforms that they stand on,
telegraph poles, sign posts and the timber sheds used as stabling to the east
of the church, however, the ground beneath all 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 Lincolnshire Scarp and Vale sub-Province of the
Central Province, which comprises a succession of scarps and vales in which
clay vales with alluvial deposits and a chalk ridge, together with associated
glacial deposits, form the structural framework of the landscape. There is a
very dense scatter of nucleated settlements, many of which are situated in
lines along favoured scarp-foot and dip-slope locations. Large numbers of
medieval village sites now lie wholly or partially deserted. Densities of
dispersed farmsteads are very low.
The Scarp and Vale Country local region is divided by the Lincoln Edge from
the broad Vale of Trent to the west. Chains of ancient village settlements,
some now deserted, are characteristic of the region. They occur where soils
change and springs appear. Densities of dispersed farmsteads are uniformly

Medieval villages were organised agricultural communities, generally sited at
the centre of a parish or township, that shared resources such as arable land,
meadow and woodland. Village plans varied enormously, but where 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 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 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.
Many houses from at least the Roman period onwards had gardens associated with
them. However, the major development in gardening took place in the late
medieval and early post-medieval periods when the idea of the garden as a
`pleasure ground' developed. Early gardens take a variety of forms. Some
involved significant water-management works to create elaborate water-gardens
which could include a series of ponds and even ornamental canal systems. At
other sites flower gardens were favoured, with planting in elaborately shaped
and often geometrically laid out beds. Planting arrangements were often
complemented with urns, statues and other garden furniture. Such sites were
often provided with raised walkways or prospect mounds to provide vantage
points from which the garden layout could be seen and fully appreciated.
Whilst gardens were probably a common accompaniment to high status houses of
the late medieval to early post-medieval period, continued occupation and
subsequent remodelling of gardens in response to changing fashions means that
early garden designs rarely survive undisturbed. Gardens provide a valuable
insight into contemporary aesthetics and views about how the landscape could
be modified to enhance the surroundings. Their design often mirrors elements
of the design of the associated house; particularly following the symmetry of
the buildings.
The monument at Stallingborough is important for its wide range of earthwork
and buried remains including the manor house site with its associated gardens
and extensive medieval and post-medieval settlement features.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Everson, P, 'Lincolnshire History and Archaeology' in Stallingborough - Earthwork Survey, , Vol. 16, (1981), 29-37

Source: Historic England

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