Linbrig deserted medieval village, 540m north of Linbriggs


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Date of most recent amendment:


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

Northumberland (Unitary Authority)
National Park:
National Grid Reference:
NT 89333 06853

Reasons for Designation

Medieval rural settlement in England is marked by great diversity in form, size and type and the protection of archaeological remains needs to take these regional differences into account. To do this, England has been divided into three broad Provinces on the basis of each area's distinctive mixture of nucleated and dispersed settlements. These can be further divided into sub- Provinces and local regions, possessing characteristics which have gradually evolved during the past 1500 years or more. This monument lies in the Wear-Tweed sub-Province of the Central Province, an area long characterised, except for the western margins, by nucleated settlements, both surviving and deserted. Variations within the sub-Province reflect land ownership as well as terrain: on some estates in Northumberland there was much dispersal of farmsteads and consequent village and hamlet depopulation after the Middle Ages; whereas Durham saw greater stability because of ecclesiastical control. An overlay of mining settlements adds complexity to the coalfield areas.

The Cheviot Margin local region is a narrow transition area between two contrasting areas, the high moorlands of the Cheviots and the agriculturally favourable lowlands of the Tweed Valley and the Northumbrian Vales. Fieldwork has shown that this region retains archaeological traces likely to date from many periods, providing evidence for sequences of land occupation. Medieval settlements are mainly in the form of small hamlets and isolated farmsteads.

Linbrig medieval village is well preserved and retains significant archaeological deposits. Its size, little larger than a hamlet, is characteristic of its particular local region, and it is therefore an important example of settlement diversity in England. In addition it is a good example of the type of small rural settlement occupied in this region from the 11th to early 17th centuries. It will therefore add greatly to our understanding of settlement and agriculture at this time.


The monument includes the remains of a deserted medieval village situated on the level terrace of a promontory formed by a loop in the River Coquet. The village is bounded on the east and south sides by the steep sides of the river bank and on the north and west sides by banks of stone and earth 0.5m high. Further stone and earth banks serve to divide the area into a series of enclosures interpreted as yards. The remains of at least 16 rectangular buildings survive, many with internal walls dividing the buildings into two rooms; these buildings represent the houses which comprise the village. These houses are visible as low stone foundations on average 1m wide standing to a maximum height of 0.3m. The buildings vary in length but are on average 15m long by 7m wide. Part of one of the houses was partly excavated in 1967 which revealed that there had been three different periods of occupation and sherds of pottery recovered during the excavation indicated that the house became abandoned during the 16th century and was replaced by a smaller building on the same site which had collapsed by AD 1600. A circular stone structure 6m in diameter attached to one of the rectangular buildings has been interpreted as a kiln used for the drying of corn. The southern corner of the village is occupied by a roughly rectangular enclosure isolated from the rest of the village by a broad ditch 8m wide; this is interpreted as a stock enclosure. This village has been identified as that of the medieval settlement of Linbrig.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract. It includes a 2 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:
Legacy System:


Books and journals
Beresford, MW, Hurst, JG, Deserted Medieval Villages , (1971), 160
Charlton, D B, Day, J C, An Archaeological Survey of the MOD Training Area, Otterburn, (1977)
Harbottle, B, Philipson, J, 'Medieval Archaeology' in , , Vol. 12, (1968), 198
NT 80 NE 07,


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.

End of official listing

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