Shrunken medieval village at Caldecotte


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Date of most recent amendment:


© Crown Copyright and database right 2021. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2021. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
Use of this data is subject to Terms and Conditions.

The above map is for quick reference purposes only and may not be to scale. For a copy of the full scale map, please see the attached PDF - 1007941.pdf

The PDF will be generated from our live systems and may take a few minutes to download depending on how busy our servers are. We apologise for this delay.

This copy shows the entry on 01-Dec-2021 at 13:50:56.


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

Milton Keynes (Unitary Authority)
National Grid Reference:
SP 89334 35390

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 primarily devoted to farming, 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 as well as acting as the focus of ecclesiastical, and often manorial, authority within each medieval parish. Although the sites of many of these villages have been occupied continuously down to the present day, many have declined considerably in size and are now occupied by farmsteads or hamlets. This decline may have taken place gradually throughout the lifetime of the village or more rapidly, particularly during the 14th and 15th centuries when many other villages were wholly deserted. The reasons for diminishing size were varied but often reflected declining economic viability or population fluctuations as a result of widespread epidemics such as the Black Death. As a consequence of their decline, large parts of these villages are frequently undisturbed by later occupation and contain well-preserved archaeological deposits. Over 3000 shrunken medieval villages are recorded nationally. 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 the shrunken village at Caldecotte consist of well defined earthworks. Partial excavation of the area immediately south-east of the monument by the Milton Keynes Archaeological Unit confirmed the survival of archaeological levels as well as demonstrating the potential for further recovery of archaeological remains. A medieval moated site is located to the west of the monument and together these provide a detailed picture of land-use in an area intensively farmed during the medieval period.


The monument includes the visible and unexcavated remains of the shrunken medieval village of Caldecotte, situated immediately east of Caldecotte Lake. The remains consist of a linear sunken lane or ditch running north-west to south-east and measuring some 200m long. Rectangular enclosures which lie to the south and west of this lane are considered to represent the boundaries of crofts and the remains of building platforms, defined by low banks and ditches up to 0.3m high and of similar depth. The extreme western extent of the site is bounded by a substantial hollow way or ditch, 7m wide and up to 2.1m deep, running north to south for some 150m. Excavation in the area immediately south east of the monument has revealed dwellings and associated outbuildings of 17th century date.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.


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

Legacy System number:
Legacy System:


SMR NO: 3618, Bucks SMR, Medieval Village/ Pottery,


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

Your Contributions

Do you know more about this entry?

The following information has been contributed by users volunteering for our Enriching The List project. For small corrections to the List Entry please see our Minor Amendments procedure.

The information and images below are the opinion of the contributor, are not part of the official entry and do not represent the official position of Historic England. We have not checked that the contributions below are factually accurate. Please see our terms and conditions. If you wish to report an issue with a contribution or have a question please email [email protected].