Part of the deserted medieval village of Hopsford.
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 Hopsford survives well and will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to its construction, development, longevity, social, economic and political significance, domestic arrangements, agricultural practices, trade, abandonment and overall landscape context.
This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 2 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 south facing slopes of a ridge forming the watershed between the valleys of two tributaries to the River Sowe. The village survives as a series of low surface earthworks and includes a central hollow way, building platforms, paddocks and field boundaries, ridge and furrow a fish pond and the site of the manor house to the south. The village was first documented in the Domesday Book and was still partly occupied although already in decline by 1631.
Further parts of the village extend beyond the current scheduled area but these are not included because they have not been formally assessed. Other archaeological remains in the vicinity are scheduled separately.