Thornton deserted medieval village


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:


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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Stratford-on-Avon (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:
SP 27378 50220


Part of the deserted medieval village of Thornton 130m south of Thornton 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 the deserted medieval village of Thornton 130m south of Thornton Farm survives well and will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to its construction, development, social, political and economic significance, the relative chronologies of dwellings, agricultural practices, domestic arrangements, the longevity of the village and its abandonment and overall landscape context.


See Details.


This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 3 June 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. As such they do not yet have the full descriptions of their modernised counterparts available. Please contact us if you would like further information.

This monument includes part of a deserted medieval village situated on the northern valley side and bank of a major tributary to the River Dene. The village survives as a series of earthworks including a moat, fishpond, house platforms and hollow ways. The moated platform is roughly rectangular in plan and measures approximately 90m long by 61m wide with clearly defined traces of internal walling and the surrounding moat is 8m wide and up to 2m deep except to the west where it widens significantly to form a fishpond of up to 41m long and 20m wide. The majority of the village earthworks are to the east of the moat and survive as blocks of settlement including at least twelve irregularly shaped building platforms arranged beside hollow ways or streets which run down towards the stream in the south. The fields surrounding the village also contain the distinctive earthworks of ridge and furrow. The southern part of the village is cut by a now disused railway. When it was constructed in the 19th century a Roman building was uncovered which produced Samian and Romano-British pottery and was interpreted as a villa. Medieval and further Romano-British sherds have been found elsewhere around the village site. The village was surveyed in 1979. Documentary evidence includes the Rous’ list of 1279 which records 21 inhabitants but by 1447 this had reduced to five tenants. The 1845 tithe award map shows ‘Thornton Town Ground’ as the field name.

Further archaeological remains in the vicinity are scheduled separately.


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number:
WA 171
Legacy System:


PastScape 333233
Warwickshire HER 1257, 6284 and 6285


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

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