Ancient Monuments

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Medieval settlement at Brockington, immediately north east of Brockington Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Gussage All Saints, Dorset

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Latitude: 50.8967 / 50°53'48"N

Longitude: -1.9729 / 1°58'22"W

OS Eastings: 402003.695243

OS Northings: 110801.977763

OS Grid: SU020108

Mapcode National: GBR 41T.L1S

Mapcode Global: FRA 66RQ.WRF

Entry Name: Medieval settlement at Brockington, immediately north east of Brockington Farm

Scheduled Date: 5 July 2002

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1020584

English Heritage Legacy ID: 35213

County: Dorset

Civil Parish: Gussage All Saints

Traditional County: Dorset

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Dorset

Church of England Parish: Gussage All Saints

Church of England Diocese: Salisbury


The monument includes the site of the medieval settlement remains at
Brockington, situated on gently sloping ground to the west of the River
Allen, on Cranborne Chase. The settlement now survives as a series of
earthworks which extend over an area of about 2ha and was surveyed by the
Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England in 1975.
The settlement includes two well-defined hollow ways which are likely to
represent roads or droveways. The first lies to the north, is aligned north
east by south west, extends for about 200m and is visible as an earthwork 4m
wide and up to 1m deep. This is bounded on either side by a series of
enclosures or `closes' which are likely to represent individual properties.
Within these, there are several artificial platforms which might represent the
sites of buildings. A second hollow way to the east is aligned north west by
south east and runs for a length of 150m. This hollow way is 4m wide and about
0.7m deep and joins the first example at a junction situated within the north
eastern area of the settlement. Four closes adjoin the eastern hollow way on
the western side (others may have been situated to the east, but have since
been levelled by ploughing).
The date of the settlement and size of the population is obscure, although
figures quoted for the parish in the 14th century Subsidy Rolls and 17th
century Hearth Tax returns are likely to have included the Brockington
totals. Brockington lies on the opposite side of the river from the
broadly contemporary settlement site at Knowlton, the subject of a
separate scheduling.
The two settlements lie within different parishes and were always distinct
from one another.
Brockington Farm, which lies to the south west, dates from the 17th century,
but might have earlier origins.
All gates and fenceposts which relate to the modern field boundaries and
the boundary wall running along the north western side are excluded from
the scheduling, although the ground beneath them 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 Wessex sub-Province of the Central Province, an
area characterised by large numbers of villages and hamlets within
countrysides of great local diversity, ranging from flat marshland to hill
ridges. Settlements range from large, sprawling villages to tiny hamlets, a
range extended by large numbers of scattered dwellings in the extreme east and
west of the sub-Province. Cultivation in open townfields was once present, but
early enclosure was commonplace. The physical diversity of the landscape was,
by the time of Domesday Book in 1086, linked with great variations in the
balance of cleared land and woodland.

The medieval settlement at Brockington is comparatively well-preserved as
a series of earthwork remains and associated buried deposits which will
contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to the monument
and the landscape in which it was constructed. Brockington represents one
of two settlement sites which survive within the area (the other being
Knowlton) and, together, these will provide insights into local society
and the economy of the area throughout the medieval period.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Historical Monuments in the County of Dorset: Volume I, (1970), 20

Source: Historic England

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