Medieval settlement remains immediately west of St Pancras's Church


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1016769

Date first listed: 16-Dec-1974

Date of most recent amendment: 16-Apr-1999


Ordnance survey map of Medieval settlement remains immediately west of St Pancras's Church
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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This copy shows the entry on 20-Nov-2018 at 15:34:01.


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

County: East Sussex

District: Wealden (District Authority)

Parish: Arlington

National Grid Reference: TQ 54205 07438


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. This monument lies in the Eastern Weald sub-Province of the South-eastern Province, bounded by the North and South Downs and comprising an oval arrangement of inward facing escarpments of chalk and sandstone, separated by clay vales, all ringing a higher sandstone ridge. Apart from concentrations of nucleated settlements in the Vale of Holmsdale and around Canterbury, the sub- Province is dominated by high and very high densities of dispersed settlements, giving a countryside with farmsteads and associated enclosed fields, of medieval foundation, intermixed with cottages, medieval moated sites and hamlets bearing the names `green' or `dene'.

Medieval villages were organised agricultural communities, sited at the centre of a parish or township, that shared resources such as arable land, meadow and woodland. Village plans varied enormously, but when they survive as earthworks their most distinguishing features include roads and minor tracks, platforms on which stood houses and other buildings such as barns, enclosed crofts and small enclosed paddocks. They frequently included the parish church within their boundaries, and as part of the manorial system most villages included one or more manorial centres which may also survive as visible remains as well as below ground deposits. Particularly in the Central Province of England, villages were the most distinctive aspect of medieval life. Their archaeological remains are one of the most important sources of understanding about rural life in the five or more centuries following the Norman Conquest. The medieval village remains immediately west of St Pancras's Church are unusual in that they represent the less commonly occurring, nucleated form of medieval rural settlement within the Eastern Weald sub-Province. They survive particularly well as mostly undisturbed, impressive earthworks and will retain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to the exact form, development and date of the settlement. The waterlogging of parts of the monument has provided ideal conditions for the survival of contemporary organic remains.


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


The monument includes the abandoned part of a medieval settlement situated upon low-lying clay on the south eastern bank of the River Cuckmere. It represents most of the original extent of the village of Arlington, which has since shifted to higher ground to the east of the parish church. The abandoned part of the settlement survives as an area of earthworks and associated buried remains, the most distinctive features of which are a roughly rectangular area interpreted as the now disused, western half of the churchyard, hollow ways representing village streets, at least four building platforms and two now dry depressions thought to represent contemporary village ponds. Architectural details surviving within the walls of the nave of St Pancras's Church immediately to the east of the monument have been dated to the late Anglo-Saxon period, suggesting that the settlement had been established by at least the 10th-11th centuries AD. The Grade I Listed parish church remains in use and is therefore not included in the scheduling. Historical sources indicate the presence within the western part of the monument of a large medieval manorial residence known as the Parsonage House. This, along with two smaller buildings in the south eastern part of the monument, is depicted on an estate map of 1629. Reuse of the monument during World War II is represented by a small circular anti-aircraft gun emplacement situated close to the south western corner of the churchyard and which is included in the scheduling.

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


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

Legacy System number: 31421

Legacy System: RSM

End of official listing