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Abandoned areas of Walgrave Medieval village

A Scheduled Monument in Walgrave, Northamptonshire

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Latitude: 52.3383 / 52°20'17"N

Longitude: -0.8266 / 0°49'35"W

OS Eastings: 480040.6317

OS Northings: 271784.334

OS Grid: SP800717

Mapcode National: GBR CWJ.7V8

Mapcode Global: VHDRM.MHC9

Entry Name: Abandoned areas of Walgrave Medieval village

Scheduled Date: 22 May 2014

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1418583

County: Northamptonshire

Civil Parish: Walgrave

Built-Up Area: Walgrave

Traditional County: Northamptonshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Northamptonshire

Church of England Parish: Walgrave St Peter

Church of England Diocese: Peterborough


Abandoned areas of the medieval village of Walgrave, first documented in Domesday Book of 1086.

Source: Historic England


The monument comprises the earthwork and buried remains of the medieval settlement of Walgrave lying immediately south of the existing village, on the side of a small south-west flowing stream, on clay lying at 99m above OD.

The remains include a broad hollow way up to 1m deep at the east end but only 0.5m deep to the west. On its south side are a series of rectangular paddocks or closes (crofts) bounded by low banks and scarps standing up to c.0.30m high. Within some of these there are traces of former buildings (tofts) defined by low banks and measuring up to c.20m by 10m. To the north of the hollow way are more indeterminate earthworks which include a long ditch or hollow way which is again approximately 1m deep, ridge and furrow, and a number of low scarps. The main hollow way extends west of the village where it can be traced for a further 200m until it meets another hollow way at right angles. The remains had already been abandoned by the late-C18 when the area south of the hollow way was (and still is) known as Atterbury's. The hollow way itself was apparently still in use in the late-C18 and called Gurst Lane.

Walgrave Hall is listed at Grade II (NHLE 1075325), it contains part of a C17 building and is understood to stand on or close to the site of the medieval manor house. It is unclear how a manorial centre here related to the moated manorial site on the northern side of Walgrave Village; the latter, known as Northall, is separately scheduled (NHLE 1011036) and survives as exceptionally well preserved earthworks. The settlement may have had two manors or the manorial centre shifted as part of the village's evolution.

North-west of Walgrave Hall lie the earthwork remains of a series of fishponds which are believed to be associated with the medieval manor. The ponds were constructed in the bed of the original stream, traces of which still survive in the upper, north-east pond. The natural valley slope forms the steep south-east sides of the ponds and the stream has moved north-west to pass outside the ponds, forming an overflow channel. The upper pond is long and narrow with a retaining bank c1.20m high on the north-west side. At its north eastern end is a small circular mound, formerly an island possibly used as a breeding refuge for water fowl. The lower pond is more rectangular with a wide retaining bank on the north-west side. To the south-east of these fish ponds, in a small valley at right angles to the main one, are two other ponds. These may also have originated as medieval ponds but they appear to have been altered to form part of the landscaped gardens of Walgrave Hall. The now silted ponds have a very high potential for the survival of environmental evidence pertaining to the physical landscape of the medieval period. The waterlogged deposits at the base of these ponds also provide the potential for the survival of organic artefacts.

Other earthworks around Walgrave Hall represent garden features including a rectangular area cut into the gentle slope, and bounded by low scarps c.0.5m high. Stone rubble within the banks suggest these may be the footings of walls enclosing the garden. A C17 brick foundation exposed along the edge of the adjacent pond has also been recorded. South-east of this terrace are more irregular low scarps and banks, perhaps the site of a former building with other banks lying to the south-west. To the north-east of the ponds, in the angle between them and the medieval fishponds, is a rectangular area bounded on the north-east and south-east by a low bank and ditch, c.0.25m high. This is respected by the adjacent ridge and furrow and may be either medieval or later in origin. The ridge and furrow is still faintly evident as low earthworks. Other earthworks around the Hall are understood to be further remains of gardens laid out in 1671-4 when the present house was built by the Langham family. By 1657 John Langham owned both Walgrave Hall and Northall Manor.

Ridge and furrow can be traced on the ground in places around the whole parish. Most of it is arranged in furlongs of reverse 's' form lying at right angles to the contours along the valley sides. This is best preserved to the south of the building platforms in Atterbury's and south-west of Walgrave Hall where ridges survive as earthworks up to c.0.4m high.

The scheduling of the abandoned areas of Walgrave medieval village is defined by three areas of protection. The first is centred at SP8002971795 and lies south of Holcote Road and Rectory Lane and west of Baker Street and Walgrave Road. This area includes a network of hollow ways, building platforms and a sample of contiguous ridge and furrow. The north, east and southern boundaries of this area are defined by field boundary fences and hedges, the western edge cuts across Atterbury's on the west side of the north to south sunken track.

The second area of protection is centred at grid reference SP8061572086, east of Walgrave Road and north-west, north and north-east of Walgrave Hall. This includes the fishponds, C17 garden earthworks and a field of clearly defined ridge and furrow. Here the boundaries are defined on the northern side by the stream although adjacent to the northernmost pond the stream bends away from the pond so the edge of the scheduled area is defined by the edge of the earthworks plus an additional 5m buffer which was considered necessary for the support and preservation of the site. Similarly on the south side of the largest, northern pond the edge of the scheduled area runs 5m beyond the visible edge of the earthworks. Again this buffer zone was considered essential for the support and preservation of the monument. Elsewhere the boundaries of the area of protection are defined by field boundary fences, hedges or walls.

The third area of protection is centred on grid reference SP8049171730 and lies south-west of Walgrave Hall. Here the area of protection includes two fields of well defined ridge and furrow and is bounded on all sides by extant field boundaries.

Within all three areas of protection modern fences, gates, path and road surfaces are excluded from the scheduling although the ground beneath all these features is included.

There is considerable potential for undesignated (but potentially nationally important) heritage assets to survive within the currently occupied areas of Walgrave medieval settlement. These may take the form of standing structures or buried deposits but are considered to be most appropriately managed through the National Planning Policy Framework (March 2012) and are not therefore included within the scheduled monument. Further earthworks also lie outside the scheduled area; east along the Kettering Road well defined earthworks representing settlement and ridge and furrow can be seen in the field west of Manvell Farm. These earthworks are well defined but because they survive in isolation and away from the central focus of the village these have not been included within the scheduled area. At the western end of Atterbury's the east to west hollow way does extend beyond the edge of the scheduling but no other earthworks are evident in this part of the field so this area is not therefore included in the scheduling.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

The abandoned areas of the medieval village at Walgrave, first documented in Domesday Book of 1086, are scheduled for the following principal reasons:

* Survival: for the exceptional earthworks and buried deposits depicting the form and plan of the settlement and its associated agricultural practices;

* Potential: for the stratified archaeological deposits which retain considerable potential to increase our understanding of the physical characteristics of the buildings and settlement. Buried artefacts will also have the potential to increase our knowledge and understanding of the social and economic functioning of the settlement within the wider medieval landscape;

* Documentation: for the historical and archaeological documentation pertaining to the settlement’s evolution;

* Group value: for its close proximity to a number of listed buildings including the C13 Church of St Peter, the medieval cross base and the scheduled moated manorial centre known as Northall;

* Diversity: for the range and complexity of features such as building platforms, crofts, trackways, fishponds and ridge and furrow which, taken as a whole, provide a clear plan of the settlement and retain significant stratified deposits which serve to provide details of the continuity and change in the evolution of the settlement.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Allison, K J, Beresford, M W, Hurst, J G, The Deserted Villages of Northamptonshire, (1966)
Astill, G, Grant, A, The Countryside of Medieval England, (1988)
Aston, M, Austin, D, Dyer, C(eds), The Rural Settlements of Medieval England: Studies dedicated to Maurice Beresford and John Hurst, (1989)
Aston, M, Austin, D, Dyer, C(eds), The Rural Settlements of Medieval England: Studies dedicated to Maurice Beresford and John Hurst, (1989)
Christie, N, Stamper, P (eds), Medieval Rural Settlement: Britain and Ireland AD 800-1600, (2012)
Dyer, C, Jones, R, Deserted Villages Revisited, (2010)
Hall, D, Turning the Plough. Midland Open Fields;landscape character and proposals for management, (2001)
Hall, D, The Open Fields of Northamptonshire, (1995)
Lewis, C, Mitchell-Fox, P, Dyer, C , Village, Hamlet and Field: Changing Medieval Settlements in Central England, (1997)
Partida, T, Hall, D, Foard, G, An Atlas of Northamptonshire The Medieval and Early-Modern Landscape, (2013)
Roberts, , Wrathmell, , An Atlas of Rural Settlement in England, (2000)
Royal Commission on Historical Monuments of England, , Archaeological Site of Northamptonshire, Volume II, (1979)
Williamson, T., Partida, T, Champion. The Making and Unmaking of the English Midland Landscape, (2013)
Cadman, G, Garden remains and Fishponds, Hall farm, Northants. Archaeological Condition Survey, 1995,

Source: Historic England

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