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Medieval settlement and associated ridge and furrow, West Leaze

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: Medieval settlement and associated ridge and furrow, West Leaze

List entry Number: 1016361


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


District: Swindon

District Type: Unitary Authority

Parish: Wroughton

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 12-Jan-1989

Date of most recent amendment: 08-May-1998

Legacy System Information

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

Legacy System: RSM

UID: 28962

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 last 1500 years or more. The Upper Avon and Thames local region has mixed characteristics, with elements of both `village' and `woodland' landscapes. It is distinguished by substantial densities of villages and hamlets associated with moderate numbers of scattered farmsteads, giving a rather dense overall pattern, but the region still carried woodland in 1086, and the Braden and Chippenham Forests reflect this.

The medieval settlement at West Leaze is well preserved and a rare survival on the claylands of northern Wiltshire.


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


The monument, which lies in three separate areas, includes the remains of a medieval settlement together with the surviving remains of associated ridge and furrow cultivation located at West Leaze on the south west outskirts of Swindon. The site is situated on a clay plain which rises steeply to the north and north east towards Swindon and falls away gradually south towards the chalk escarpment which forms the edge of the Marlborough Downs. The settlement is entirely enclosed, being bounded on the north side by the River Ray and on the south, east and west sides by a boundary ditch. The main street of the village is defined by a deeply worn hollow way on the long axis of the settlement. On either side of this are several raised platforms representing houses and outbuildings. An excavation of the hollow way undertaken in 1988 showed the platforms to be 0.4m above the natural ground level and probably constructed from the material dug from the hollow way. Between the raised platforms and the surrounding boundary ditch are earthworks representing cultivation plots. Two ponds, probably dating to 19th century, have been dug into the hollow way, one located in the centre of the settlement and the other on the southern boundary. The medieval settlement is surrounded on the east, west and south sides by extensive areas of associated medieval ridge and furrow. A well preserved sample of this, situated adjacent to the eastern boundary ditch is included in the scheduling. Additional areas of ridge and furrow have been levelled by recent cultivation and are therefore not included. All water troughs, telegraph poles and fence posts 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

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

National Grid Reference: SU 13748 83235, SU 13765 82974, SU 13897 83104


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This copy shows the entry on 20-Sep-2018 at 05:11:29.

End of official listing