Deserted village of Stretton Baskerville
Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number: 1005732
Date first listed: 25-Sep-1954
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
District: Rugby (District Authority)
Parish: Stretton Baskerville
National Grid Reference: SP 42011 91189
Deserted medieval village of Stretton Baskerville.
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 of Stretton Baskerville survives well and will contain further archaeological and environmental evidence relating to its construction, development, longevity, social, economic and political significance, trade, agricultural activity, domestic arrangements, religious provision, abandonment and forced desertion and overall landscape context and since it has a long and rich documentary history this can also be applied to what is historically recorded.
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 a deserted medieval village situated on the west facing slopes of a ridge forming the watershed between the valleys of two closely spaced tributaries to the River Anker. The village survives as a complex series of earthworks including hollow ways, rectangular building platforms or saucer shaped scoops, garden plots, paddocks, land boundaries, fish ponds, a church and churchyard and the manor house. There was a very limited excavation in 1947-8 which located the church, demonstrated the main street was cobbled and showed at that at least one of the dwellings was insubstantially built of timber and clay construction. The excavations also retrieved quantities of medieval pottery. The village is particularly important because of its long and well documented history. Prior to the Conquest it was held freely by Edric. At the time of the Domesday Book it belonged to Roger or Ralph de Mortimer. It passed variously to William de Baskerville, Henry I and by 1219-20 it belonged to Ralph the son of Nicholas, steward of William Lord Ferrers. In 1301 John de Twyford took possession and it remained with this family until 1489 when Thomas Twyford enclosed 160 acres of open field and deliberately destroyed seven houses selling the property shortly afterwards to Henry Smyth. In 1494 it was described as having twelve houses each with a garden. In 1517 a full report in the Inquisition indicates that Henry Smyth enclosed more land on which to run sheep and allowed the twelve houses and four cottages to fall into ruins and thus made 80 people homeless. The church was also a ruin and in use as an animal shelter. Subsequently, Walter Smyth is mentioned in relation to the village in a document of 1553 but there are no known further documentary references to the village after 1577 until it was first described in its current state by Dugdale in 1730 who indicated the clearly visible street plan, churchyard and outline of the manor house which he said had belonged to Sir Ralph Fitz Nicholas.
The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.
Legacy System number: WA 113
Legacy System: RSM - OCN
Warwickshire HER 2762
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