Medieval village and moated sites at Thrupp End


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1010364

Date first listed: 11-Sep-1954

Date of most recent amendment: 21-Jan-1992


Ordnance survey map of Medieval village and moated sites at Thrupp End
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: Central Bedfordshire (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Lidlington

National Grid Reference: SP 98678 39695, SP 98749 39534


Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

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.

Sometimes associated with deserted village settlements are the sites of prestigious residences surrounded by moats. These sites form a significant class of medieval monument and are important for understanding the distribution of wealth and status in the countryside. Many examples provide conditions favourable to the preservation of organic remains. Thrupp End medieval settlement is a good example of a Bedfordshire deserted village associated with a high status manorial residence. Although modified by ploughing the monument retains considerable potential for the preservation of structural remains within the settlement and the moated areas.


Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.


The remains of a deserted medieval village and two medieval moated sites, one of which falls within a separate constraint area, occur next to Thrupp End Farm. The village site is known from low earthworks and aerial photographs which show clearly a range of building plots extending for some 30-50m to the south east of the lane leading to Thrupp End Farm. Long narrow fields, typical of medieval farming, extend for a further 100m beyond the house plots and there is a distinct boundary or headland about 1m high visible on the south east edge. At the northern end of the village are the remains of two moated sites. One is attached to the north east corner of the village. It is almost square and is between 110m and 120m across. The moat arms are 10-20m wide and up to 3m deep and are crossed by a causeway at the middle of the south eastern arm. The interior is largely taken up by three oval ponds which are between 30m and 70m in length. The second moat lies to the north-west of Thrupp End Farm and is comprised of two islands, a larger square island 80m wide with a smaller rectangular island, measuring 45m by 20m, at its south side. The ditches are on average 7m wide by 1.5m deep except on the south-eastern arm, which has been largely infilled and is about 0.5m deep. The larger island has a bank, 0.5m high, along its south-west side and its surface retains lines of earlier ridge-and-furrow. The interior of the smaller island is slightly raised by about 1.5m and is thought to hold the remains of a building. At the western corner of the moat the ditches are enlarged to form two parallel fishponds, each about 40m long by 10m wide. The south-western arm of the moat contains a canalised stream and has had a sheep- wash built into it. The moats are considered to have been part of the medieval manor known as `Goldington's Manor'. The name is applied to Thrupp End Farm on a map dated 1775 and it is possible that the manor house stood on the site of the present farm house. Historical documents record that the manor belonged to the Abbess of Barking and that it was held by the Goldington family from at least the 15th century. Medieval pottery, dating from the 12th-14th century, along with fragments of building materials, have been found on the surface of the deserted settlement. The map of 1775 also shows that houses stood on the site as late as the 18th century.

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: 20410

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
The Victoria History of the County of : Volume III, (1912)
Brown, A, Fieldwork for archaeologists and local historians, (1987)
Beds. C.R.O. R1/255 Draft Enclosure Award, (1775)
Brown, A.E. & Taylor, C.C., Beds. SMR 31: 'Origins of Dispersed Settlement...', (1986)
Cambridge AP: AAV 68,71, (1960)
Hunting AP: HSL UK BED 68 780, 6/8064-5, (1968)
Title: Ordnance Survey 6" 1924/46/47 Prov. ed Source Date: Author: Publisher: Surveyor:

End of official listing