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Medieval settlement at Mill Ford Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Coughton, Warwickshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 52.2384 / 52°14'18"N

Longitude: -1.8705 / 1°52'13"W

OS Eastings: 408937.335259

OS Northings: 260026.840841

OS Grid: SP089600

Mapcode National: GBR 3JP.MWR

Mapcode Global: VHB02.JZHY

Entry Name: Medieval settlement at Mill Ford Farm

Scheduled Date: 16 April 1999

Last Amended: 8 September 2003

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1021087

English Heritage Legacy ID: 30036

County: Warwickshire

Civil Parish: Coughton

Traditional County: Warwickshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Warwickshire

Church of England Parish: Coughton with Sambourne

Church of England Diocese: Coventry

Details

The monument includes the buried and earthwork remains of a medieval
village and its associated hollow ways, field boundaries, enclosures and
the medieval ridge and furrow cultivation remains at Mill Ford Farm,
Coughton. The medieval settlement formed part of a spread of settlement
within the parish which took the form of hamlets, lying to the south west
and south east of the manor house and church and located on the edge of
the medieval Royal Forest of Arden, on an acknowledged route through the
forest. The manor at Coughton Court and its associated settlement,
churchyard, mills, dovecotes and fisheries are the subject of a separate
scheduling.

The settlement at Mill Ford Farm developed along Coughton Lane to the
south east of the ford over the River Arrow and close to the road which
ran from the ford to Warwick. Homestead enclosures (or tofts) are
indicated by a series of irregular building platforms aligned parallel to
Coughton Lane in a north to south direction. The tofts included domestic
dwellings as well as outbuildings and animal sheds. Six houses stood on
the site in 1695, representing the final phase of occupation. Four of
these had been demolished by 1746.

The boundary ditches of six regular crofts (or allotments) each
approximately 15m to 20m in width and measuring up to 1m deep and 1m to 2m
wide, survive to the east of the house sites. These enclosures were used
for the cultivation of vegetables and fruit for the use of the families
and may have also included stock pens for animals such as pigs or poultry.
The rear boundary of the crofts survive well and suggest that they were
all approximately 50m long, although several appear to have been extended
at a later date, enclosing an additional area of what was originally part
of the medieval ridge and furrow cultivation.

To the east of the settlement are further ridge and furrow cultivation
remains. These are the remnants of the open arable fields belonging to
Coughton in the medieval period. The majority of these have been removed
by modern ploughing, but a sample of that which survives close to the
settlement site is included in the scheduling.

The buildings at Mill Ford Farm, including Mill Ford House which is a
Listed Building Grade II, all modern paths, surfaces and fences are all
excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath these features
is included.

MAP EXTRACT
The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.
It includes a 2 metre boundary around the archaeological features,
considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.

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.
The West Midland Plateau local region comprises low plateaux surrounding the
shallow basin of the Tame valley. It is dominated by dispersed settlements
present in high and very high densities. Its ancient forest landscapes, with
their intricate mosaics of old enclosed fields and woodland blocks, have
usually been considered the result of medieval colonisation, but must also
contain more ancient elements.

The medieval settlement remains at Mill Ford Farm survive well and will
preserve evidence about individual homesteads, their dates and methods of
construction and occupation, including details of their development over
time. The crofts will provide evidence for the use of the private areas
of land for gardening and stock raising by individual tenants, whilst the
great fields and greens of the settlement will provide evidence for the
activities undertaken in common land and public spaces. The survival of
documentary records illuminate the history, and allow a fuller
understanding of the organisation and development of the village.

The position of the settlement at Mill Ford Farm south east of the manor
and settlement at Coughton Court (the subject of a separate scheduling),
will provide evidence of the interaction of their populations, including
the use of communal facilities such as mills, manor courts and the church,
which they will have regularly attended.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Other
Hooke, D, Unpublished notes including full survey, 1997,

Source: Historic England

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