Medieval settlement at Afflington


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1016913

Date first listed: 17-May-2000


Ordnance survey map of Medieval settlement at Afflington
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Dorset

District: Purbeck (District Authority)

Parish: Corfe Castle

National Grid Reference: SY 97185 80187


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. This monument lies in the East Wessex sub-Province of the south-eastern Province, an area in which settlement characteristics are shaped by strong contrasts in terrain. This is seen in the division between the chalk Downs, where chains of nucleated settlements concentrate in the valleys, and the Hampshire Basin, still dominated by the woodlands and open commons of the ancient New Forest, where nucleated sites are largely absent. Along the coastal strip extending into Sussex are more nucleations, while in Hampshire some coastal areas and inland valleys are marked by high densities of dispersed settlement, much of it post-medieval. The Southern Purbeck local region is distinctive because of higher concentrations of both scattered farmsteads, villages and hamlets than are to be found on the heathlands to the north. The Corfe Valley, with its patchwork of small hedged fields and woodlands, carried woodland in the 11th century on the evidence of Domesday Book.

Despite some disturbance by the construction of a lake, the medieval settlement at Afflington generally survives well as a series of earthworks and associated buried deposits. The site will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to the construction, use and development of the settlement and will also provide an indication of the economy of its inhabitants.


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


The monument includes an abandoned medieval settlement at Afflington, situated on a gentle north facing slope of the Corfe Valley. The settlement most likely represents the medieval hamlet of `Alvronetone' mentioned in the Domesday survey, and known successively as `Alfrington', `Addlington' and `Afflington'. Records suggest that the manor was held by Aelfrun under Edward the Confessor and that Henry III granted a market and fair here between 1269 and 1270. By the late 17th century, the settlement at Afflington still included between 15 to 20 houses. The houses and buildings at Afflington Farm occupy part of the western area of the former settlement, but much of the remainder survives as a series of well preserved earthworks which are known to extend over about 4ha. A hollow way, aligned east-west, represents the main street and is visible as an earthwork between 4.5m to 8m wide and about 0.6m deep. To the north west there are two rectangular enclosures or tofts which are likely to have contained buildings. The tofts, which have maximum dimensions in plan of 17m by 40m and 35m by 30m, are divided by a bank 5m wide and about 0.6m high. The southern areas of the platforms are terraced into the slope to create a level surface. To the north, at the rear of the tofts, the slope is also divided into what were probably crofts or garden areas. At the eastern end of the hollow way, a raised platform aligned east-west is likely to represent the site of another building. This platform has dimensions of 40m by 12m and a hollow way 7m wide lies immediately to the west. A further group of platforms lies within the south eastern area; these are aligned east-west with dimensions of 40m by 37m and 35m by 17m in plan. The platforms are each associated with a probable drainage channel leading into an enclosed area at the rear; these enclosures are likely to represent crofts. All gates and fence posts relating to the modern field boundaries are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath them is included.

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: 29098

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Historical Monuments in the County of Dorset: Volume I, (1970), 100

End of official listing