Middle Newham medieval settlement.
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 remains of Middle Newham medieval settlement are well-preserved as earthworks which include a significant proportion of the layout of the village. The degree of preservation indicates that the monument will contain archaeological deposits relating to the construction, use and abandonment of the village. The monument provides insight into the character of village life during the medieval period.
This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 2 June 2016. 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.
The monument includes the remains of a deserted village of medieval date, situated on a slight ridge over looking Cadgers Burn to the south. The monument is divided into two separate areas of protection located on either side of the road which runs through Middle Newham. To the north of the road and aligned on it are remains of a row of crofts with associated buildings representing about eight tenements, all of which are preserved as earthworks. The crofts are bounded on the north side by a continuous bank. To the south of the road are further earthwork remains, which include the route of a disused trackway that acted as a back lane for the village.
During 1242 the area of Middle Newham lay within the barony of Whalton. In 1296 the Lay Subsidy recorded ten taxpayers within the village and in 1569 historical records show that Newham comprised seven tenements and an eighth that had either fallen out of use or had been amalgamated with another. By 1594 customary tenure had been abolished and the township converted into two demesne holdings. Soon after 1608 the tenants were enfranchised at freeholders.