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Croom medieval settlement and cultivation terraces

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: Croom medieval settlement and cultivation terraces

List entry Number: 1016859

Location

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

County:

District: East Riding of Yorkshire

District Type: Unitary Authority

Parish: Sledmere

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: 32635

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 Yorkshire Wolds local region is a soft, rolling, chalk landscape with deep valleys. Dispersed farmsteads, usually impressive creations of the late 18th and 19th centuries, are present in small numbers. The earlier pattern of medieval nucleated settlements - villages and hamlets - still dominates the archaeological landscape as either deserted settlement sites or sites still occupied by rural communities.

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. Cultivation terraces are a distinctive landscape feature of the Yorkshire Wolds. Many are thought to have been established before the collapse in the rural population in the 14th century, and to have been the result of the poorly developed market economy forcing villages to be self sufficient in grain and thus requiring the cultivation of steep hill sides. Croom is of particular significance, because although thriving in the early 14th century, it is thought to have been abandoned as a village relatively early. It will thus preserve information about earlier medieval rural life with less disturbance from later intensive occupation.

History

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

Details

The monument, which lies in three areas of protection, includes buried and earthwork remains of the medieval settlement of Croom, together with a set of terraces originally used by its inhabitants for arable cultivation. The original settlement is now partly overlain by the buildings of Croome House Farm. The Domesday Book of 1087 records that at the time of the Norman Conquest, Croom was split into a number of holdings, possibly all administered by manors in other settlements. Nearly half of Croom was part of Weaverthorpe Manor held by the Archbishop of York. The land of three individuals, also nearly totalling half of Croom, passed to the king. The remaining small land holding was part of a large manor in Buckton Holms held by Berenger of Tosny and is thought to have later formed part of the honour of Settrington. In 1279-81 it is recorded that both Robert Salveyn and the prior of Bridlington held land in Croom, the prior's attorney being Brother Thomas de Croom. In 1297, only two people were listed as having assets over nine shillings in Croom and thus liable to be taxed for the Lay Subsidy, which would not have included ecclesiastical holdings. However, five years later, for another tax known as the Knight's Fees, 13 tenants were named, which was significantly more than for most neighbouring settlements. By 1334 Croom was assessed at 30 shillings for another Lay Subsidy; this was a little below the average for the area, but the village is thought to have been badly hit by the Black Death, which reached Yorkshire in 1349, because it was given 50% relief from the Lay Subsidy in 1354. The settlement was last recorded in 1585, but may have been depopulated by this time as the Council of the North was noted as having made an award in 1555 with respect to the overcharging of pastures. Croom's open fields were finally enclosed by Act of Parliament in 1775. The monument extends westwards up the hillside from the base of a shallow dry valley which runs north-south to the east of the modern farm buildings. It continues in the field to the west of the farm complex, north of Croome House, with a third protected area, including the cultivation terraces, lying on the north east facing hillside on the west side of Croome Road. The medieval village is considered to have been essentially a twin row settlement with individual holdings arranged either side of an east west trackway, which is partly preserved by the track on the north side of Croome House. A further section of this track, flanked by low banks up to 0.3m high, can be seen crossing the base of the valley. Either side and at right angles to the trackway there are a series of breaks of slope and low banks which mark the boundaries between individual properties, with level areas typically partly cut into the hillside forming platforms for buildings. Running up the hill to the south of Croome House there is a shallow ditch up to 3m wide, continued in places as a break of slope, which is thought to mark the southern boundary of the settlement. The northern boundary survives as a low bank 2m-3m wide to the east and west of the farm buildings. Other earthwork features of particular note include those of a row of three twin roomed buildings which lie immediately on the north side of the trackway at the base of the valley. These remains, which stand up to 0.3m high, are typical of longhouses, the usual medieval form of peasant housing. Immediately up hill and to the north west of these building remains there is an area 50m east west and 100m north south. This is subdivided into a set of square and rectangular enclosures terraced into the hillside and further defined by substantial banks. Towards the centre of this area there is a set of earthworks which because of their larger scale and layout are considered to be the remains of a small range of higher status buildings. In the field to the north of Croome House, there are a number of platforms 5m to 10m across which are typically roughly rectangular and partly cut into the rising ground. These are considered to be the building platforms for peasant houses and associated buildings. There is also one platform which is not terraced into the hillside, but raised up at least 0.1m above the surrounding ground. It is approximately circular in area, 12m across and is considered to be the remains of a stack stand for storing fodder. Throughout the area of the medieval settlement, there will be additional buried remains, including rubbish pits, building foundations, and spreads of material like smithing wastes and yard surfaces which will not be seen as upstanding earthworks. To the north of the stack stand, beyond the settlement's boundary bank, there is a sharp break of slope. This is part of a cultivation terrace which has been cut through by the later Croome Road. Further up hill, to the west of the road, there is a set of five parallel terraces each 10-20m wide. These are considered to be the result of medieval arable agriculture ploughing strip-like fields roughly along the contours. The lynchets, the steps between terraces, are typically around 1m high. A number of features are excluded from the scheduling; these include all modern fences, styles and gates, water troughs and the platforms that they stand on, and telegraph poles; although the ground beneath these features is included. Fence lines defining the boundaries of the monument lie immediately outside the protected area.

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

Selected Sources

Other
Record cards, Sites & Monuments Record, 3327, (1998)

National Grid Reference: SE 93159 65968, SE 93390 65788, SE 93509 65667

Map

Map
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End of official listing