Shrunken medieval village at Caldecotte
Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number: 1007941
Date first listed: 09-Oct-1981
Date of most recent amendment: 23-Dec-1991
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This copy shows the entry on 22-Apr-2019 at 19:46:52.
The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
District: 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: 19008
Legacy System: RSM
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