Deserted medieval village of Abbotstone 340m east of Abbotstone Mill.
Reasons for Designation
The village, comprising a small group of houses, gardens, yards, streets, paddocks, often with a green, a manor and a church, and with a community devoted primarily to agriculture, was a significant component of the rural landscape in most areas of medieval England, much as it is today. Villages provided some services to the local community and acted as the main focal point of ecclesiastical, and often of manorial, administration within each parish. Although the sites of many of these villages have been occupied continuously down to the present day, many others declined in size or were abandoned throughout the medieval and post-medieval periods, particularly during the 14th and 15th centuries. As a result over 2000 deserted medieval villages are recorded nationally. The reasons for desertion were varied but often reflected declining economic viability, changes in land use such as enclosure or emparkment, or population fluctuations as a result of widespread epidemics such as the Black Death. As a consequence of their abandonment these villages are frequently undisturbed by later occupation and contain well-preserved archaeological deposits. Because they are a common and long-lived monument type in most parts of England, they provide information on the diversity of medieval settlement patterns and regional farming economy over a long period of time.
The deserted medieval village of Abbotstone survives well. It has been largely undisturbed and as such has a high degree of potential for archaeological investigation. It will contain below-ground archaeological and environmental information relating to the construction, use and occupation of the site and its relationship to the surrounding landscape.
This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 20 August 2014. The record has been generated from an "old county number" (OCN) scheduling record. These are monuments that were not reviewed under the Monuments Protection Programme and are some of our oldest designation records.
The monument includes a deserted medieval village known as Abbotstone in two separate areas of protection surviving as earthworks and buried remains. It is situated on gently sloping ground to the east of a tributary of the River Itchen, 2km WNW of Old Alresford. The deserted medieval village includes a series of rectangular croft enclosures or property boundaries, generally orientated ENE to WSW, surrounded by banks with evidence of tofts or house platforms within them. There are three parallel depressions, which indicate hollow ways, one of which leads to the site of a churchyard at the west. A rectangular enclosure bounded by a bank on the west side of the village is the site of the medieval church.
The medieval village of Abbotstone is recorded in the Domesday Book (1086) when it included a mill. Documentary evidence suggests that the settlement flourished until the early 14th century.