Deserted medieval site W of Lower Batch Farm
Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number: 1003749
Date first listed: 17-Oct-1978
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
District: Mendip (District Authority)
National Grid Reference: ST 65117 35944
Deserted medieval village 320m west of Lower Batch 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 deserted medieval village 320m west of Lower Batch Farm survives well and will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to its construction, development, longevity, abandonment, agricultural practices, domestic arrangements and overall landscape context.
This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 2 September 2015. 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 a deserted medieval village situated on a gentle west facing slope immediately south of a tributary to the River Alham. The village survives as a series of at least 15 house platforms fronting onto a Roman road from Semley to the Fosse Way and are clearly defined as rectangular building platforms, garden plots, hollow ways and boundary banks. A 9th century charter indicates the road was disused and thus suggests a relatively early abandonment of the village. The village was surveyed by Bristol University in 1985.
The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.
Legacy System number: SO 498
Legacy System: RSM - OCN
PastScape Monument No:-199946 and 1326519
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