Deserted medieval village at West Farm
Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number: 1002378
Date first listed: 01-Jun-1979
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
District: North Dorset (District Authority)
Parish: Winterborne Whitechurch
National Grid Reference: SY 83903 99550
Part of a deserted medieval village at Lower Street, immediately south of Lower Whitchurch Farm.
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 important information on the diversity of medieval settlement patterns and farming economy between the regions and through time. The part of a deserted medieval village at Lower Street, immediately south of Lower Whitchurch Farm survives well and will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to its construction, development, social organisation, layout, trade, agricultural practices, domestic arrangements, abandonment and overall landscape context.
This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 18 February 2016. This 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.
This monument includes part of a deserted medieval village situated on a gentle north east facing slope immediately surrounding the source of the River Winterborne. The settlement survives as a series of house platforms, banks, scarps and a section of hollow way and includes a dry embanked fishpond.
Further archaeological remains survive in the vicinity, some are scheduled separately but others are not included because they have not been formally assessed.
The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.
Legacy System number: DO 841
Legacy System: RSM - OCN
This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.
End of official listing