Papley deserted medieval village, moat and fishpond, near Warmington.


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1011026

Date first listed: 07-Oct-1954

Date of most recent amendment: 08-Apr-1992


Ordnance survey map of Papley deserted medieval village, moat and fishpond, near Warmington.
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This copy shows the entry on 17-Dec-2018 at 19:53:24.


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

County: Northamptonshire

District: East Northamptonshire (District Authority)

Parish: Warmington

National Grid Reference: TL 10691 88973


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.

Papley deserted medieval village is a very well documented site, which exhibits a variety of well preserved features including a moat and fishpond. The largely undisturbed earthworks are likely to preserve considerable archaeological evidence of occupation, including the remains of houses and other buildings. The moated site was also the location of a post medieval house with an associated garden, and the substantial earthworks around the moat provide unusual archaeological evidence concerning the incorporation of a medieval moat within a later garden feature.


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


This monument consists of the site of the deserted medieval village of Papley, a moated house and garden site and an associated fishpond all of which lie just to the north east of Papley farm. The deserted medieval village of Papley lies to the north of the moat and fishpond. A holloway 1m deep runs west to east through the site and from this run roads and tracks at right angles, and the remains of building platforms can be seen to lie beside the roadways. The area of the village earthworks is surrounded by the ridge and furrow of medieval fields and there is some adjacent early quarrying. The village was small in size and records show that it was depopulated by the early 16th century. The moat lies on the south side of the village earthworks and was the site of the medieval manor house. The moat measures approximately 70m x 80m and has ditches on its north, south and west sides which are u-shaped and waterlogged in parts. A 2m high bank, possibly a walkway, runs around the length of the outside of the moat ditch, and on the inner edge of the moat ditch lies a smaller bank about 1m in height. The ditches form the boundary of an early 17th century garden belonging to a house built in the 16th century. The earthworks of this garden seem to overlie the ridge and furrow to the east. Medieval buildings on the moated site were destroyed after the village was deserted and were replaced by the 16th century building. In 1670 this house was also demolished and vestiges of stone foundations can still be seen. Just to the north east of the moated site lies a substantial fishpond which was associated with both the medieval village and the later buildings. The pond is 35m long and over 2m deep in parts with retaining stonework in the banks and at present it holds both water and fish. The manor at Papley was listed in Domesday and recorded throughout the medieval period until about 1495, when the owner destroyed seven houses in Papley and enclosed 200 acres of former common fields. Her grandson was brought before the Star Chamber in 1539 and charged with similar offences at Papley. A detailed map of 1632 shows a large farmhouse with a garden on the site of the present moat.

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: 13619

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Royal Commission on Historical Monuments of England, , Archaeological Sites in North East Northamptonshire, (1979), 110-11
Royal Commission on Historical Monuments of England, , Archaeological Sites in North East Northamptonshire, (1979), 109-111
Taylor, C, The Archaeology of Gardens, (1983), 8, 10

End of official listing