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 shrunken settlement of Low Buston is well preserved and retains significant archaeological and environmental deposits, which will provide insight into the character of medieval settlement and subsistence. It will also contribute greatly to our knowledge and understanding of the diversity and character of medieval settlement patterns in England.
The monument includes the shrunken remains of a settlement of medieval date, situated on a slight ridge adjacent to Tylee Burn. The medieval plan of the village is a type well known in this part of
Northumberland, in which a single row, or two parallel rows of houses face onto a rectangular village green or hollow way, with crofts or garden areas to the rear. This type of village in northern England is thought to be the result of deliberate planning by Norman rulers attempting to exert control over a
rebellious region during the 11th and 12th centuries. The remains of the settlement are visible as a series of low earthworks and comprise a hollow way oriented north-west to south-east forming the main village street with, on either side, the foundations of small rectangular houses (tofts) 8m to 9m long and the remains of small field plots (crofts) behind. A bank runs along the west side of the main trackway. The position of the village was retained until roughly 1774 when the houses were abandoned.
PastScape Monument No:- 7930
Northumberland HER:- 5417