A deserted medieval village and post-medieval farm buildings, 1.4km north-west of Yew Tree Cottage


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Location Description:
Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.


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

Location Description:
Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.
West Sussex
Chichester (District Authority)
West Dean
National Park:
National Grid Reference:
SU 82839 16658

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, 1.4km north-west of Yew Tree Cottage survives well. It has been largely undisturbed and as such will retain archaeological potential, containing archaeological information and environmental evidence relating to the deserted medieval village and the landscape in which it was constructed. The location of the scheduled remains of a medieval chapel in the vicinity of, and probably associated with, the deserted medieval village enhances its importance as does the remains of the post-medieval farm buildings which will provide evidence for continuity in occupation and land use following the abandonment of the medieval village.


The monument includes a deserted medieval village, surviving as earthworks and below-ground archaeological remains, and the standing and buried remains of post-medieval farm buildings. It is situated along the floor of a south-east sloping valley, north of Chilgrove in the South Downs. The earthworks of the deserted medieval village extend a distance of over 400m along the valley floor. A double-lynchet trackway, orientated north west to south east, runs through the village. It is linked to rectangular house platforms and hollow ways. There are further depressions, lynchets and field banks associated with the village. At the south end of the village are post-medieval remains of a farmhouse, known as Monkton House, and farm buildings. These include tiled flooring and brick foundations, as well as the remains of a well and well house which originally housed a donkey wheel. The farmhouse may date from the 16th century but most of the farm buildings were constructed in the 18th century. The Monkton area is referred to as the 'tithing and chapelry of Chilgrove' in documentary sources and the scheduled remains of a chapel, possibly dedicated to St Margaret, are located just over 1km to the south-east. It is likely to be associated with, and probably served, the deserted medieval village. There are references to tenements at Wenden in Chilgrove in 1348. However by 1608, only a farm house is recorded on the site. Further farm buildings were constructed in the 18th century before they too was abandoned. The monument excludes the surface of the modern trackway that traverses the site, the interpretation panel, all modern fences and fence posts, gates and gate posts. However the ground beneath these features is included.

Sources: West Sussex HER 824 - MWS6304. NMR SU81NW38. PastScape 246263. Aldsworth, F. 1978. Church archaeology in Sussex. In 'Archaeology in Sussex to AD 1500: Essays for Eric Holden'. The Council for British Archaeology Research Report No. 29. pp 78-83.


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

Legacy System number:
WS 452
Legacy System:


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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