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.
Eske medieval settlement 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 as well as to the diversity of medieval settlement in a national context. Its situation in a wetland setting means that important environmental remains are likely to be present within, around and beneath the earthworks. This will contribute to our knowledge of land use and climate change, as well as aiding our understanding of changes within the settlement to environmental changes. 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 of medieval settlement in the region.
The monument includes the remains of a medieval settlement, known as Eske, as well as part of its associated field system, all surviving as earthworks across low lying level ground on the east bank of the River Hull. A network of at least five hollow ways provides the main structure of the settlement. These are generally aligned either east to west or north to south, the occupation area appearing to extend around a central rectangular core, with later extensions to the north and east. The remains of former rectangular houses are visible as level platforms aligned along the routes of the hollow ways and enclosures associated with the house platforms are present as low earthwork banks. Room layouts within the house platforms are visible as cropmarks on aerial photographs. The monument also includes part of the associated medieval field system, in the form of ridge and furrow cultivation, which is also preserved as earthworks.
Documentary sources suggest that the settlement is known to have been in existence by 1087 when it was recorded as having 12 tofts and a manor. By circa 1300 the village was being extended northwards from its central core with regular planned plots flanking the north-south aligned street. The population was reduced by 1457 and the village was deserted sometime during the 18th century.
PastScape Monument No:- 79228
Humber SMR No:- 3929