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Marston Trussell shrunken medieval village and moat

List Entry Summary

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.

Name: Marston Trussell shrunken medieval village and moat

List entry Number: 1013322


The monument may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Northamptonshire

District: Daventry

District Type: District Authority

Parish: Marston Trussell

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 03-Sep-1992

Date of most recent amendment: Not applicable to this List entry.

Legacy System Information

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

Legacy System: RSM

UID: 13633

Asset Groupings

This list entry does not comprise part of an Asset Grouping. Asset Groupings are not part of the official record but are added later for information.

List entry Description

Summary of Monument

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 shrunken medieval 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. Marston Trussell shrunken medieval village has very well preserved earthworks with a diversity of features which are largely undisturbed. These earthworks include the sites of two successive manor houses and of the medieval village and outlying fields, all of which lie around the early church. The site therefore has considerable archaeological potential for preserving evidence of the history and economic development of a nucleated village from the medieval period to more recent times.


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


The village earthworks occur within two areas, lying on either side of the Lubenham Road. The southern area includes a moated site, house platforms and enclosures ranged around the 13th century church of St Nicholas. The house platforms and garden plots lie on either side of a north-south running hollow way, 1m deep, which runs up towards Lubenham Road. In the south of the area lie a number of ditched fields and small enclosures relating to manorial paddocks. Beyond these lie a stream and part of the medieval ridge and furrow field system which is defined by a headland on its southern side. The moated site lies just to the north east of the church. It has a moat island about 35m square surrounded by a ditch up to 12m wide and 2m deep. A spring at the north west corner supplied water for the moated system. The moat is considered to be the site of the medieval manor house of the village and at a later date a new manor house was built to the north of the church and west of the moat. In about 1874 this house was demolished and the present road cut across part of the village. The northern area includes an east-west hollow way, running parallel to the Lubenham Road; a number of well-defined house platforms and garden plots can be identified next to the hollow way and adjacent to the existing modern houses. During the construction of these modern houses in the 1950s finds of medieval and Roman pottery were made. Further Roman finds, including 3rd century pottery, were unearthed during grave digging and church restoration activities in 1945. All made up roadways and paths on the site are excluded from the scheduling, but the ground beneath these features is included.

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

Selected Sources

Books and journals
Royal Commission on Historical Monuments of England, , Archaeological Sites in Northamptonshire

National Grid Reference: SP6941985881


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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 - 1013322 .pdf

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This copy shows the entry on 21-Sep-2018 at 01:11:36.

End of official listing