Deserted medieval manorial settlement of Cossington


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1010710

Date first listed: 13-Dec-1994


Ordnance survey map of Deserted medieval manorial settlement of Cossington
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This copy shows the entry on 09-Dec-2018 at 19:27:35.


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

County: Kent

District: Gravesham (District Authority)

National Grid Reference: TQ 64648 69081


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

Reasons for Designation

Medieval manorial settlements, comprising small groups of houses with associated gardens, yards and paddocks, supported communities devoted primarily to agriculture, and acted as the foci for manorial administration. Although the sites of many of these settlements have been occupied continuously down to the present day, many others declined in size or were abandoned at some time during the medieval and post-medieval periods, particularly during the 14th and 15th centuries. 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 settlements are frequently undisturbed by later occupation and contain well-preserved archaeological deposits, providing information on the diversity of medieval settlement patterns and farming economy, and on the structure and changing fortunes of manorial communities.

The deserted medieval manorial settlement of Cossington survives comparatively well, the area of the settlement and field system remaining largely undisturbed with clearly visible earthworks. The site contains archaeological remains and environmental evidence which, combined with documentary sources, will give an insight into the construction of the settlement and the economy and way of life of its inhabitants.


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


The monument includes the deserted medieval manorial settlement of Cossington, situated on a gentle west facing slope in an area of undulating chalk downland. The remains survive as a settlement comprising at least six buildings enclosed by a bank and ditch, surrounded by a number of additional banked and ditched enclosures, hollow ways and other earthwork features. The earthwork remains of the settlement include a roughly rectangular area aligned north-south and measuring 62m long and from 45m to 60m across. This is enclosed by an inner bank 3.5m wide and 0.6m high with an outer ditch 2.5m wide and 0.4m deep to the south and east. Within this are the earthwork remains of building platforms and other rectangular earthwork features ranging in size from 11m by 8m to 20m by 12m. An additional enclosed strip lies along the north edge of the settlement with dimensions 8m north-south by 41m east- west. The settlement area lies within a larger enclosed area, 146m east-west by at least 172m north-south; the southern boundary is no longer visible. This area is further divided by bank and ditch boundaries to the north west, north and east, forming paddocks and fields which surround the settlement. To the north a rectangular enclosed area measures 78m north-south by 65m east-west bordered to the north and west by a single bank, a bank and ditch to the east and, to the south, a single ditch. Situated in the south east quarter is a flat-topped mound 1.5m high and c.10m in diameter with a slight hollow in the centre. It is believed to be the remains of a post mill mound. A hollow way runs along the northern edge of the enclosure, with a second trackway running south from it, leading to the entrance of the settlement. To the north of the hollow way are a number of additional earthwork features, some of which may be quarry pits relating to the construction and use of the complex. To the east of the settlement remains are the north and east boundaries of an additional enclosed area which measures 42m east-west with a c.3m wide outer ditch and c.4m wide inner bank. The southern boundary is no longer visible. Further fields and paddocks may have been located to the east but no earthwork remains are visible. Documentary evidence suggests that the land originally belonged to the estates of the Ifield family who sold it to a member of the Cossington family in the late 13th or early 14th century, giving it the name which survives today. By 1365 it was a well established community known as Little Cossington and is believed to be the site of the Manor of Cossington bought in the 15th century by Edward IV. Excluded from the scheduling are all fences and fence posts although the ground beneath them is included.

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: 23027

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Caiger, J E L, 'Archaeologia Cantiana' in Cozendon Wood, Northfleet, (1971), 204-207
Caiger, J E L, 'Archaeologia Cantiana' in Cozendon Wood, Northfleet, (1971), 204-7
Ordnance Survey, TQ 66 NW 41,

End of official listing