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. 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. Field systems are an important part of medieval rural economy, and should be considered in context with their associated rural settlements.
Burton Constable medieval settlement and field system is well preserved and a good example. Important archaeological and environmental information survives undisturbed which will provide valuable evidence relating to the construction, use and abandonment of this settlement. The survival of part of the associated field system adds to the importance of the monument, which as a whole will add greatly to our knowledge and understanding of medieval settlement in the region. Its situation within an historic parkland also enhances its interest.
The monument includes the remains of a medieval settlement, known as Burton Constable and part of its associated field system, all situated just north of Burton Constable Hall. The monument lies within a Grade II* registered Park and Garden.
The medieval settlement is based around two thoroughfares, shown as linear depressions known as hollow-ways which run east to west and north to south. Along these are a series of rectangular building platforms and slight banks marking toft boundaries, all covering an area of approximately 1ha. To both the east and west of the occupation area, and included in the wider area of the scheduling, there are the earthworks of part of the associated field system in the form of ridge and furrow formed by medieval ploughing. Also surviving are the earthworks of rectangular fish ponds. Towards the south west corner of the monument there is a raised, circular feature about 30m in diameter within an encircling ditch. This is interpreted as the site of a former windmill. Documentary evidence suggests that the settlement was in existence by 1293. It was described as including a manor house, 15 cottages (smallholders), 21 bovate holders with ploughlands (tenants of larger landholdings) and a windmill. The settlement was deserted by 1488.
PastScape Monument No:- 1031906
Humber SMR No:- 730Historic Park and Garden:- 1918