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Kilvington medieval settlement and part of an open field system, 400m south west of Staunton Hall

A Scheduled Monument in Kilvington, Nottinghamshire

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Latitude: 52.9789 / 52°58'44"N

Longitude: -0.8065 / 0°48'23"W

OS Eastings: 480233.778003

OS Northings: 343061.030365

OS Grid: SK802430

Mapcode National: GBR CMT.6XS

Mapcode Global: WHFJ2.LD54

Entry Name: Kilvington medieval settlement and part of an open field system, 400m south west of Staunton Hall

Scheduled Date: 3 September 2002

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1020647

English Heritage Legacy ID: 29997

County: Nottinghamshire

Civil Parish: Kilvington

Traditional County: Nottinghamshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Nottinghamshire

Church of England Parish: Kilvington

Church of England Diocese: Southwell and Nottingham


The monument includes the earthwork and buried remains of the abandoned
areas of Kilvington medieval settlement and part of the associated open
field system. The site is situated on a terrace and north east facing
slope 200m north east of St Mary's Church, Kilvington.

Kilvington is first mentioned in the Domesday Survey of 1086, where it is
documented that there were two manors, one held by Ilbert de Laci and the
other by Hugh, the son of Baldric. The existing church of Saint Mary was
built on the site of the medieval church.

The monument survives as a series of earthwork and buried remains. On the top
of the terrace, close to the south western edge of the monument, a series of
low banks define at least two sub-rectangular features. These are interpreted
as the site of medieval buildings with the low banks representing the buried
remains of walls. The southernmost building appears from the earthworks and
aerial photographs to be apsidal at its eastern end. The banks survive to a
height of approximately 0.5m.

To the south of the apsidal building and running roughly north east to south
west across the monument, is a wide gully. This survives to a depth of
approximately 0.75m and is interpreted as a sunken track. Close to the south
western edge of the monument the trackway opens out and appears to divide,
with one section curving to the west towards St Mary's Church and the
other continuing to the south west parallel to the existing field
boundary. At its north eastern end the trackway leads to another wide
gully. This gully meanders across the monument roughly north to south and
represents an old water course which marks the parish boundary between
Kilvington and Staunton. A map of 1842 shows a mill situated approximately
100m east of the monument, and it is possible the watercourse was changed
as part of the water management system for the mill. At the junction
between the trackway and the old water course is another series of
earthworks. These are more irregular and difficult to define on the
ground and suggest that the area has been affected by post-medieval
quarrying or flooding. Included in this area is a sub-circular mound
standing to a height of approximately 1m which may be related to either
water management works or quarrying activity.

Another gully, interpreted as a sunken track, runs approximately 100m
north of and parallel to that described above. This trackway also leads
to the old water course at its eastern end. Between the two trackways the
sloping ground contains a few slight earthworks, but was probably used as
pasture during the medieval period.

Adjacent to the south eastern boundary of the monument and approximately 100m
from the southernmost corner, a series of low banks define a terraced
rectangular feature. This is interpreted as the site of another medieval
building with the low banks representing the buried remains of walls. It would
appear that further earthworks in this area have been distorted by later
quarrying activity.

To the north east and west of this building platform, to the north of the
northernmost trackway and to the east of the old water channel, are the
remains of part of the medieval open field system. These are visible as
part of at least four furlongs (groups of lands or cultivation strips)
marked by headlands. The cultivation strips collectively form ridge and
furrow and survive to a height of at least 0.5m.

On a Tithe Map of 1850 the field containing the monument was known as Farr
Butt Close and Fishers Homestead. Although no buildings were shown to have
survived in the area, in the mid-19th century the name of the field
implies that at least one of the building platforms that survive today as
earthworks may represent the site of the Fishers Homestead.

All fences and gates 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 Trent sub-Province of the Central Province, where
the broad Trent valley swings in a great arc across midland England. Underlain
by heavy clays, it is given variety by superficial glacial and alluvial
deposits. Although treated as a single sub-Province, it has many subtle
variations. Generally, it is characterised by a great number of villages and
hamlets which cluster thickly along scarp-foot and scarp-tail zones, locations
suitable for exploiting the contrasting terrains. Throughout the sub-Province
there are very low and extremely low densities of dispersed farmsteads, some
of which are ancient, but most of which are 18th-century and later movement of
farms out of earlier villages.

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 earthwork and buried remains of the abandoned areas of Kilvington medieval
settlement are well-preserved and retain significant archaeological
remains. The earthworks and aerial photographic records indicate the
layout of the settlement, whilst old maps provide a clue to the
interpretation of the site.

As a whole, the medieval settlement of Kilvington will add to our knowledge
and understanding of the development and subsequent abandonment of medieval
settlement in the area and its position in the wider landscape.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Page, W (ed), The Victoria History of the County of Nottinghamshire, (1970), 282-283
NGR index no. 8043/2, Pickering Collection, JAP 935/4A and JAP 935/5A,
Title: Tithe Awards, Kilvington
Source Date: 1850
Notts Archive No. AT 68/1a

Source: Historic England

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