Ancient Monuments

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Whitehill medieval settlement immediately south of Old Whitehill Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Tackley, Oxfordshire

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Latitude: 51.8715 / 51°52'17"N

Longitude: -1.3003 / 1°18'0"W

OS Eastings: 448271.367295

OS Northings: 219442.326141

OS Grid: SP482194

Mapcode National: GBR 7W6.N2G

Mapcode Global: VHCX7.D7Y5

Entry Name: Whitehill medieval settlement immediately south of Old Whitehill Farm

Scheduled Date: 28 April 1976

Last Amended: 16 July 2003

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1020973

English Heritage Legacy ID: 30835

County: Oxfordshire

Civil Parish: Tackley

Traditional County: Oxfordshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Oxfordshire

Church of England Parish: Tackley

Church of England Diocese: Oxford


The monument includes a medieval settlement, defined by a large area of
earthwork platforms and associated buried remains, located to the south of
Old Whitehill Farm and Tackley Park and immediately to the north of the
modified course of the River Cherwell flanking the Oxford Canal.
Within the settlement at least ten house platforms with associated
enclosures remain visible as earthworks ranging in size from roughly
12 sq m to well over 40m across. These lie to either side of a hollow way
and a north to south running stream which was later used as a channel to
remove water from a series of fishponds in the grounds of the late
medieval Tackley Park, 500m to the north. The village earthworks are
believed to have been more extensive in 1605 when a number of ruined
houses were still visible according to an estate map drawn up by Langdon.
Further buried remains can clearly be seen on aerial photographs as parch
and crop marks (variations in growth caused by differing levels of
moisture retained by underlying deposits). These have helped to define the
layout and the extent of the settlement remains, showing evidence of
additional platforms and enclosure boundaries which are not visible at
ground level but which will survive as buried features.
It is unclear when the settlement was first developed or when it finally
ceased to exist, but it is known to have been thriving in 1450. By 1605,
when Langdon's map was drawn, the settlement was no longer occupied.
All post and wire fences 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 past 1500 years or more.
The South Midlands local region is large, and capable of further subdivision.
Strongly banded from south west to north east, it comprises a broad succession
of clay vales and limestone or marlstone ridges, complicated by local drifts
which create many subtle variations in terrain. The region is in general
dominated by nucleated villages of medieval origin, with isolated farmsteads,
mostly of post-medieval date, set in the spaces between them. Depopulated
village sites are common, and moated sites are present on the claylands.

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 distinguished 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 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.
Whitehill medieval settlement is a well-preserved example of a nucleated
medieval settlement, within the South Midlands local region. Like many
others in Oxfordshire it lies on slightly raised ground close to a river
and may well have developed because of its location on a ford, with
adjacent meadow land and arable and wooded land uphill, thus ensuring
access to the full range of resources required by a medieval farming
Evidence provided by aerial photographs, field survey, chance finds and
documented history indicate that Whitehill contains largely undisturbed
archaeological remains relating to the development, occupation and economy
of the village from its original establishment up to its final

Source: Historic England


PRN 1106, SMRO, Whitehill, (1974)

Source: Historic England

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