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Great house site, garden earthworks and associated remains immediately north, west and south of St Mary's Church

A Scheduled Monument in Salford, Oxfordshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.9506 / 51°57'2"N

Longitude: -1.5855 / 1°35'7"W

OS Eastings: 428585.398463

OS Northings: 228096.563279

OS Grid: SP285280

Mapcode National: GBR 5R6.MZ3

Mapcode Global: VHBZ7.G7PH

Entry Name: Great house site, garden earthworks and associated remains immediately north, west and south of St Mary's Church

Scheduled Date: 2 January 1976

Last Amended: 12 November 2003

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1020974

English Heritage Legacy ID: 30854

County: Oxfordshire

Civil Parish: Salford

Traditional County: Oxfordshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Oxfordshire

Church of England Parish: Little Compton, Chastleton, Cornwell, Little Rollright and Salford

Church of England Diocese: Oxford

Details

The monument lies on an artificial terraced slope immediately west of the
present day village of Salford, looking west across a spring-fed stream at
the bottom of a narrow valley. It includes the earthwork and upstanding
remains of a late medieval or early post-medieval great house, a
contemporary barn, the buried remains of further associated buildings,
terraced formal garden earthworks, a fishpond and related water control
features and an area of medieval cultivation earthworks (ridge and
furrow).
The most visually impressive remains are the earthworks of the formal gardens
which descend from east to west in three wide terraces each linked by a broad
ramp. These gardens cover an area of approximately 120m by 60m, with each
terrace roughly equal in size. The base of the slope is marked by a series of
leats controlling water supplied by a stream which emanates from springheads
located some 600m to the north west. A short section of this stream course is
included in the scheduling.
The tithe map for Salford depicts the level platform at the top of the
slope surmounted by a large north-south aligned house, commanding the view
across the gardens. This building no longer stands but its position is
marked by a series of depressions and banks which indicate the presence of
buried remains. From the map evidence and the results of a modern
geophysical survey of the site carried out in October 1997 the house is
known to have measured over 40m long and up to 20m in width. Although the
exact date of the house's construction is unknown, the layout of the
complex depicted on the map is typical of a mansion and formal gardens of
the 16th or 17th centuries. Associated with the house, running eastwards
from its location towards St Mary's Church (a Listed Building Grade II),
lie the buried remains of a series of buildings identified from minor
earthworks and geophysical survey. These remains are believed to represent
a gatehouse range, which formed the entrance to the manorial complex and
separated the formal setting of the mansion from a grouping of dependant
farm buildings and fishponds to the north.
The main fishpond (now dry) is located some 30m north of the church. It
measures up to 40m in width and 50m in length and was formerly fed by a
substantial leat which flowed from the springs to the north west. A
second, smaller pond lay adjacent to the south east. This however, was
largely overlain by a later extension to the churchyard and is not
included in the scheduling. The cluster of farm buildings which stood to
the north of the gatehouse range, bounded to the north by the water supply
to the fishponds, is now mainly known from slight undulations and the
patterns of foundations detected by geophysical survey. One building,
termed the `Great Barn' on later maps, still stands, although the upper
wall courses and the roof have been rebuilt in later periods. Although the
agricultural range is clearly associated with the 16th-17th century
mansion, it is possible that some of these features are earlier in origin
and indicate the presence of an earlier medieval manor which was later
remodelled to meet the changing fashion for more comfortable and imposing
houses, within more formal designed settings. The fishponds certainly
appear to date from an earlier manorial layout. So too the pattern of
medieval or post-medieval cultivation earthworks which survive in two
fields to the north and east of the mansion's grounds. A sample of the
best preserved area of ridge and furrow, including the headland between
the field and the manor boundary, is included in the scheduling in order
to preserve the archaeological relationship with the mansion site and any
buried remains of its medieval precursor.
All standing buildings (including the above ground fabric of the great
barn) and all fences and modern field boundary walls are excluded from the
scheduling, although the ground beneath these features is included,
together with the foundations of the great barn. The foundations protrude
15cm above ground in places, but are distinct from the later main wall
fabric.

MAP EXTRACT
The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Medieval great houses were the residences of high-status non-Royal households.
They had domestic rather than military functions and show little or no sign of
fortification, even of a purely cosmetic nature. Great houses share several of
the characteristics of royal palaces, and in particular shared similar
characteristics of size, sophistication, and decoration of the architecture.
Great houses usually consist of a group of buildings, including a great hall,
service rooms, one or more kitchens, several suites of chambers for the
owners, the household and its guests, and a gatehouse. Other ancillary
buildings are known to have been present but very rarely survive. Earlier
examples typically comprised a collection of separate buildings, but through
the 14th and 15th century there was increasing integration of the buildings
into a few larger buildings. By the later medieval period, such complexes were
commonly laid out around one or more formal courtyards; in the 16th century
this would occasionally be contrived so that the elevations were symmetrical.
Many great houses are still notable for the high quality of their architecture
and for the opulence of their furnishings. Several examples contain
substantially intact buildings, others consist of ruins or complexes of
earthworks.
Great houses are found throughout England, although there is a concentration
in the south and Midlands. Further north, great houses were more heavily
fortified, reflecting more unsettled political and social conditions, but
their domestic purpose and status were still predominant. Fewer than 250
examples of great houses have been identified. As a rare monument class which
provide an important insight into the lives of medieval aristocratic or gentry
households, all examples will be nationally important.

The great house and gardens at Salford include all the typical elements of
a country house of the 16th and 17th centuries, including planned formal
gardens, a large house, gatehouse range and further walled yards and
ranges of buildings, which demonstrate an expensive undertaking. In
addition, the remains of the water features and the adjacent fields
containing ridge and furrow indicate the presence of earlier remains of a
medieval manor on the site which was probably altered or demolished during
the later work as a result of increasing affluence and changing fashion.
Archaeological investigations including geophysical survey and documentary
research show that the visible earthworks form part of a well-preserved
group of associated remains which will contain important archaeological
evidence relating to the history, construction and occupation of the manor
site and the economy of the village as a whole.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Other
PRN 5760, SMRO, Salford Manor and gardens, (1993)

Source: Historic England

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