Fillington Wood medieval settlement


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1014560

Date first listed: 01-Jul-1996


Ordnance survey map of Fillington Wood medieval settlement
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This copy shows the entry on 17-Dec-2018 at 19:59:56.


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

County: Buckinghamshire

District: Wycombe (District Authority)

Parish: Piddington and Wheeler End

National Grid Reference: SU 79821 94797, SU 79880 94733


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

Reasons for Designation

Farmsteads, normally occupied by only one or two families and comprising small groups of buildings with attached yards, gardens and enclosures, were a characteristic feature of the medieval rural landscape. They occur throughout the country, the intensity of their distribution determined by local topography and the nature of the agricultural system prevalent within the region. In some areas of dispersed settlement they were the predominant settlement form; elsewhere they existed alongside, or were components of, more nucleated settlement patterns. The sites of many farmsteads have been occupied down to the present day but others were abandoned as a result of, for example, declining economic viability, enclosure or emparkment, or epidemics like the Black Death. In the northern border areas, recurring cross-border raids and military activities also disrupted agricultural life and led to abandonments. Farmsteads are a common and long-lived monument type; the archaeological deposits on those which were abandoned are often well-preserved and provide important information on regional and national settlement patterns and farming economies, and on changes in these through time.

The medieval settlement in and around the enclosure has been shown from part excavation to survive as buried features and understanding of the monument will be enhanced by the evidence of medieval documents which provide details of some of its occupants, their status and the economy of the period.


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


The monument, which falls into two areas, includes an enclosed medieval settlement and a nearby dovecote situated on a south east facing promontory of the Chilterns, known as Old Dashwood Hill. The site is crossed by the old West Wycombe to Oxford turnpike road which is still in use as a minor road. The enclosure has a ditch and bank which define a roughly circular area 60m across. The bank is best preserved south of the old turnpike where it stands up to 0.6m high and measures c.3m wide. It is built of chalk and soil with a flint revetment to prevent it slipping into the ditch. This ditch, despite having become partly infilled over the years, measures up to 7m wide and c.1m deep. A counter-scarp bank c.1.5m wide and 0.5m high survives as a visible earthwork on the southern side of the monument. The entrance or entrances to the enclosure probably lie beneath the surface of the later road.

Within the enclosure lies a series of medieval building foundations, including the remains of an open fronted building measuring 6m by 3.4m. Also present are a flint lined water reservoir, a flint walled building 5m by 7m which has been shown by excavation to have had a peg-tile roof, a cobbled courtyard area, a possible kiln and other associated features. A mortared stone dovecote, situated c.50m south east of the enclosure, was also found during the 1975 excavations. It was constructed with a 3m wide interior around which 1.5m wide walls had been built. These had supported a peg-tile roof which had collapsed into the structure after it went out of use. The walls contained nesting boxes built into their interior faces.

A nearby shaft, which is not included in the scheduling, provided a well which was later used for the disposal of human remains, believed by the excavator to be victims of the Black Death during the 14th century. This is also when the site appears to have been abandoned. Pottery found during the excavations shows that there was Roman activity on the site but that the ditch remained in use in the medieval period. The medieval pottery, along with documentary evidence, helps to provide a detailed picture of the settlement and its occupants at this time. In the 13th century a Walter Silindene (Fillindene) lived here on a farm of two virgates for which he paid rent of 5s.6d each to the Bishop of Winchester, the landlord. Excluded from the scheduling is the surface of the road and its make-up, although the land beneath is included in the scheduling.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract. It includes a 5 metre boundary around the archaeological features, considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.


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

Legacy System number: 28114

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Albert, W, The Turnpike Road System in England 1663-1840, (1972)
Egerton (ed), , The Winchester Customal
CASS 00186 ref note 2, C.A.O., Fillington Farm, (1975)
CASS 00186 ref note 5, C.A.O., Fillington Farm, (1975)
CASS 00186, C.A.O., Fillington Farm, (1975)
Excavations summmary reports, Parker, R F and Boarder, A W F, A Medieval Settlement Site at Fillington Wood, (1992)
Summary of excavations, Parker, R F, A Medieval Settlement Site At Fillington Wood, 1992, (1992)
Title: Ordnance Survey 1:10000 Series Source Date: 1980 Author: Publisher: Surveyor: SU 79 SE

End of official listing