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Medieval settlement of Croxton

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: Medieval settlement of Croxton

List entry Number: 1016858

Location

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

County:

District: North Lincolnshire

District Type: Unitary Authority

Parish: Croxton

County:

District: North Lincolnshire

District Type: Unitary Authority

Parish: Ulceby

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 07-Jul-1999

Date of most recent amendment: Not applicable to this List entry.

Legacy System Information

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

Legacy System: RSM

UID: 32629

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. This monument lies in the Lincolnshire Scarp and Vale sub-Province of the Central Province, which comprises a succession of scarps and vales in which clay vales with alluvial deposits and a chalk ridge, together with associated glacial deposits, form the structural framework of the landscape. There is a very dense scatter of nucleated settlements, many of which are situated in lines along favoured scarp-foot and dip-slope locations. Large numbers of medieval village sites now lie wholly or partially deserted. Densities of dispersed farmsteads are very low. The Scarp and Vale Country local region is divided by the Lincoln Edge from the broad Vale of Trent to the west. Chains of ancient village settlements, some now deserted, are characteristic of the region. They occur where soils change and springs appear. Densities of dispersed farmsteads are uniformly low.

Medieval villages were organised agricultural communities, generally sited at the centre of a parish or township, that shared resources such as arable land, meadow and woodland. Village plans varied enormously, but where 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 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. In the Central Province of England, villages were the most distinctive aspect of medieval life, and 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. Medieval villages were supported by a communal system of agriculture based on large, unenclosed open arable fields. These large fields were divided into strips (known as lands) which were allocated to individual tenants. The cultivation of these strips with heavy ploughs pulled by oxen-teams produced long wide ridges and the resultant `ridge and furrow' where it survives, is the most obvious physical indication of the open field system. Individual strips were laid out in groups known as furlongs defined by terminal headlands at the plough turning points and lateral grass baulks. Furlongs were in turn grouped into large open fields. Well preserved ridge and furrow, especially in its original context adjacent to village earthworks, is both an important source of information about medieval agrarian life and a distinctive contribution to the character of the historic landscape. The medieval settlement earthworks at Croxton are very well preserved and extensive and provide important information about the layout of the medieval village. The buried remains will include the complete ground plans of medieval houses with their associated outbuildings. Rubbish pits, yard surfaces and spreads of deposits such as smithing wastes will provide valuable information about medieval village life. The pond indicates that the area will also retain waterlogged deposits which are expected to include organic remains such as timber and leather items which rarely survive on drier sites.

History

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

Details

The monument includes buried and earthwork remains of the medieval settlement of Croxton, together with the surviving part of the village's open field system. The monument lies within two areas of protection separated by the Croxton Road which runs south east to Kirmington. There are five entries in the Domesday Book for Croxton. These provide an insight on the change of land ownership caused by the Norman Conquest. Of the five landholders in 1066, only one remained in 1087, and then as a vassal of Roger of Poitou. Two landholdings were merged and passed to Hugh, son of Baldrick, with the remaining two smaller land holdings passing to the Bishop of Lincoln and the king. Political unrest, poor harvests and epidemics in livestock in the early part of the 14th century, followed by the Black Death after 1348, caused a widespread collapse in the population; this coincided with social and land holding changes and the contraction in the size of many villages. Parish records show that Croxton was affected by the plague again in 1593 with 11 deaths recorded for the year compared to an average of 4.4 previously. The open fields of Croxton were enclosed in the early 19th century. The 1810 working plan for the enclosure shows that the area of the monument was already enclosed by this date. The main area of earthworks lies to the east of Croxton Road, bounded by the lane to Ulceby Chase to the north and the railway to the south. Two former village streets, represented by parallel hollow ways approximately 100m apart, run north eastwards from Croxton Road. The southern street was still shown on the 1810 map as a trackway. Arranged at right angles to these streets there are a number of low banks marking former property boundaries, hollow ways of cross streets and boundaries of the open field system. Between the two parallel streets, centred 300m from Croxton Road, there is a water filled pond just over 100m across, shown on the 1810 map. The area between the streets to the south west of the pond is divided into at least eight parallel tofts by low banks. These tofts were individual building plots for peasant houses and contain levelled areas for houses and associated outbuildings. This area is labelled Shop Closes on the 1810 map. A further two tofts lie to the east of the pond with a hollow way beyond which links the two parallel streets. To the south of the southern street there is a further row of tofts with a ditched enclosure at the western end of the row, the southern part of which is overlain by the railway. The area to the north of the northern street is not split into tofts. It is crossed by two hollow ways, one running NNW from the north western corner of the pond, in line with the modern field boundary to the north of the monument, and the second running about 100m from, and parallel to Croxton Road. In between these two cross streets there is an area about 180m long which contains a level platform and a rectangular area 30m by 50m bounded by a slight bank which lies alongside the eastern cross street. The western cross street, a back lane to tofts along the eastern side of Croxton Road in an area now occupied by modern farm buildings, can be seen to continue as a crop mark feature to the north of the road to Ulceby Chase. Within the area of the monument between this street and Croxton Road there are further low earthwork features which, given their position opposite the church, are considered to indicate a medieval manor house. To the north and east of the pond there are the earthworks of ridge and furrow left by medieval ploughing. Most run NNW to SSE, measuring 6m-7m between furrows, with one set at right angles running from the eastern end of the row of tofts between the two parallel streets. The lane to Ulceby Chase cuts across the ridge and furrow and is thus not medieval in date. There is a smaller area of earthworks to the west of Croxton Road and to the west of the church and the houses to its south. This is divided up by low banks into small, roughly rectangular enclosures, typically 40m by 50m, some of which are shown on the 1810 map. Some contain level areas typical of building platforms. These are considered to be crofts, which were small paddocks and enclosures owned by some villagers. Not included in the scheduling is the area of the medieval settlement which is still occupied by standing buildings and associated gardens, nor the medieval church and surrounding churchyard which is still in ecclesiastical use, although important buried remains are expected to survive in these areas. The areas where the earthworks have been removed by agriculture or road and railway construction are also not included. All modern fencing, as well as feeding and water troughs are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath these features is included.

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

Selected Sources

Other
3 oblique black & whites held by SMR, AUI 20, AUI 21, AUI 22, (1968)

National Grid Reference: TA 09488 12100, TA 09862 12365

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.
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This copy shows the entry on 22-Nov-2017 at 07:42:23.

End of official listing