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Wretchwick deserted medieval settlement

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 Culture, Media and Sport.

Name: Wretchwick deserted medieval settlement

List entry Number: 1015549

Location

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

County: Oxfordshire

District: Cherwell

District Type: District Authority

Parish: Ambrosden

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 05-Sep-1958

Date of most recent amendment: 24-Sep-1997

Legacy System Information

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

Legacy System: RSM

UID: 28148

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

Medieval rural settlements in England were marked by great regional diversity in form, size and type, and the protection of their archaeological remains needs to take these 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. The South Midlands local region is large, and capable of further subdivision. Strongly banded from south west to north east, it comprises a broad succession of clay vales and limestone or marlstone ridges, complicated by local drifts which create many subtle variations in terrain. The region is in general dominated by nucleated villages of medieval origin, with isolated farmsteads, mostly of post-medieval date, set in the spaces between them. Depopulated village sites are common, and moated sites are present on the claylands.

This monument survives well despite the adjacent fields having been built over by modern development. The earthworks are known by analogy from the part excavation of adjacent platforms to contain archaeological and environmental remains relating to the construction, economy and fate of the settlement and its inhabitants.

History

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

Details

The monument, which falls into two areas immediately north east and south west of Middle Wretchwick Farm, south east of Bicester, includes the remains of Wretchwick medieval village and its associated earthwork boundaries. Although divided by the present farm complex, the remains clearly represent a medieval settlement with hollow trackways dividing building platforms which vary in size from 2m by 3m to 30m by 40m. There are also a series of water management channels which vary from 3m to 8m wide and feed a series of small ponds associated with the farm. The remains north east of the farm are less regular in their layout than those to the south west and it is believed that this is the earlier core of the village, with a later more planned extension being added when dairying increased the need for more labour in the late 1400s. Wrethwick is mentioned as an estate in 1086 in the Domesday book and it is known to have had the status of a Manor by 1194. By 1274 it was owned by Bicester Priory and in 1279 the population consisted of 24 villeins and their dependants. In 1488 it was suffering from a reduced population due to the Black Death and it was depopulated by the Prior of Bicester. By 1536 the manor had been divided up into five leasehold farms and by 1791 an estate map shows only one farm present on the site. By 1881 the present land boundaries had been formed by enclosure and the next major alteration was the development to the north west in the last decade. Excluded from the scheduling are all boundary fences, the surface of the track to Middle Wretchwick Farm and all water management devices within the drains, although the ground beneath all of these features and the water channels themselves are included in the scheduled area.

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

Selected Sources

Books and journals
Chambers, R A, 'Oxoniensia' in The Deserted Medieval Settlement at Wrethwick, , Vol. LVI, (1992), 173-6

National Grid Reference: SP 59569 21307, SP 59785 21505

Map

Map
© Crown Copyright and database right 2017. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2017. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
Use of this data is subject to Terms and Conditions.

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 - 1015549 .pdf

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This copy shows the entry on 13-Dec-2017 at 08:46:48.

End of official listing