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. Despite being partially ploughed, and some isolated disturbance from paths, tracks and an electricity line, the deserted medieval village known as Grafton Flyford survives comparatively well as earthworks and buried features. The importance of the village is enhanced by its good historical record, including a map of 1700 that can be compared with the extant remains. The remains of the village will have potential for retaining archaeological deposits that will contain important information relating to its use, construction, occupation and abandonment.
The monument, which falls into two areas, includes a deserted medieval village and hollow ways together with an area of ridge and furrow situated on the northern slopes of a hill overlooking the Piddle Brook. It survives as visible earthworks and cropmarks seen on aerial photographs. The deserted medieval village survives as a series of banked enclosures, building platforms, hollow ways, ridge and furrow and five ponds. Fields of ridge and furrow are predominantly orientated north west to south east and are enclosed within large banked enclosures. The largest enclosure is approximately 120m by 130m with a bank and ditch up to 5m wide. Smaller enclosures are located throughout the site and are mostly rectangular in plan and these define gardens or paddocks of varying sizes. Within some of the smaller enclosures are house platforms that are sub-rectangular in plan, a number of which have internal divisions. Hollow ways are situated around the site providing routes between the enclosures, fields and house platforms. Five ponds and further ridge and furrow are situated around the site.
The village was first recorded in 884 and there are records of a settlement here until 1779.
Several electricity poles, tracks and path surfaces cross the monument. These features are excluded from the scheduling but the ground beneath all of them is included.
Further archaeological remains and ridge and furrow survive within the vicinity of the monument, but have not been formally assessed and are not included within the scheduling.
Sources: NMR:- SO 95 NE 4
Pastscape Monument No:- 118246
Jackson, R. & Dalwood, H. 2007, Archaeology and Aggregates in Worcestershire. Worcestershire Historic Environment and Archaeology Service and Cotswold Archaeology.