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Shrunken Settlement of Paxcroft to east of Lower Paxcroft Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Hilperton, Wiltshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.3264 / 51°19'35"N

Longitude: -2.1628 / 2°9'45"W

OS Eastings: 388755.371922

OS Northings: 158601.658912

OS Grid: ST887586

Mapcode National: GBR 1SP.S19

Mapcode Global: VH96X.GXHK

Entry Name: Shrunken Settlement of Paxcroft to east of Lower Paxcroft Farm

Scheduled Date: 23 June 2017

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1442589

County: Wiltshire

Civil Parish: Hilperton

Traditional County: Wiltshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Wiltshire

Church of England Parish: Steeple Ashton

Church of England Diocese: Salisbury

Summary

The monument includes the earthwork and buried remains of the shrunken hamlet of Paxcroft which has circa early-C13 origins. The site has a linear plan at the intersection of two hollow ways, and is situated on low-lying Oxford Clay to the east of Lower Paxcroft Farm, and adjacent to a field drain fed by Paxcroft Brook, a minor tributary of the River Bliss.

Source: Historic England

Details

PRINCIPAL FEATURES: the monument includes the earthwork and buried remains of the shrunken hamlet of Paxcroft which has circa early-C13 origins. The site has a linear plan at the intersection of two hollow ways, and is situated on low-lying Oxford Clay to the east of Lower Paxcroft Farm, and adjacent to a field drain fed by Paxcroft Brook, a minor tributary of the River Bliss.

DESCRIPTION: the site extends an area of approximately 13ha. It is centred on ST8872458579. The earthworks include the remains of at least four or five croft and toft farmsteads, of various phases, on a north-east to south-west alignment at the intersection of a southern and a western hollow way. The southern hollow way runs east-west and is visible as an irregular ditch up to 12m wide and now serves as a field drain. It has a post-medieval hedged-and-fenced boundary and a C19 pond. The western hollow way is between 8m and 15m wide and has also been cut into by a C19 pond. A partially surviving third hollow way survives to the north, comprising a 4m wide ditch, running north-west to south-east.

Each croft is defined by parallel banks spaced about 50m apart and running for approximately 100m north to south and abut the southern hollow way. At the south-west end of each croft are angular ditched enclosures. The size and form of these vary, implying more than a single phase of construction. Five of them contain evidence of buildings are recorded in areas showing no occupation on the 1818 enclosure map or subsequent records. The best preserved toft earthworks are found at the south-east end of the settlement. The earthworks on the north-west side of the site are more irregular and have suffered some damage since aerial photographs taken in the mid-C20; they do, however, correspond to buildings recorded on the early-C19 maps. At the north end of the crofts are earthwork remains of associated ridge and furrow cultivation which run parallel to the croft boundaries.

EXCLUSIONS: the fences, fence posts and gateposts are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath them is included.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

The shrunken settlement remains of Paxcroft, to the east of Lower Paxcroft Farm are scheduled for the following principal reasons:
* Level of survival: a good proportion of the earthworks survive and will contribute to our understanding of the overall form and development of this settlement;
* Documentation: historical documents provide evidence for the settlement's existence since the C13 and for its gradual decline; information that has been enhanced by recent archaeological investigation;
* Potential: the buried remains have the potential to provide further archaeological information about the settlement and its development, and more generally, the nature of settlement patterns in this area during the medieval and post-medieval periods;
* Group value: with the nearby medieval settlement of Whaddon (scheduled), 3km to the north.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Websites
Historic England Pastscape Record MONUMENT NO. 1578806, accessed 6 March 2017 from https://pastscape.org.uk/hob.aspx?hob_id=1578806
Other
Caswell, Edward, 2015, Lower Paxcroft Farm, Hilperton, Wiltshire: Analytical Earthwork Survey, Historic England Reserach Series 89/2015
LIDAR ST8858 DSM 02-16-APR-2005
Wiltshire and Swindon Historic Environment Records: MWI1306 - ST85NE459 Paxcroft

Source: Historic England

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