Coates medieval settlement and moated site


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1016979

Date first listed: 24-Nov-1999


Ordnance survey map of Coates medieval settlement and moated site
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This copy shows the entry on 19-Dec-2018 at 14:04:37.


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

County: Lincolnshire

District: West Lindsey (District Authority)

Parish: Stow

National Grid Reference: SK 90788 83064, SK 91165 83407


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 Trent sub-Province of the Central Province, where the broad Trent valley swings in a great arc across midland England. Underlain by heavy clays, it is given variety by superficial glacial and alluvial deposits. Although treated as a single sub-Province, it has many subtle variations. Generally, it is characterised by a great number of villages and hamlets which cluster thickly along scarp-foot and scarp-tail zones, locations suitable for exploiting the contrasting terrains. Throughout the sub-Province there are very low and extremely low densities of dispersed farmsteads, some of which are ancient, but most of which are 18th-century and later movement of farms out of earlier villages.

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. Villages were the most distinctive aspect of medieval life in central England, 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 settlements were supported by a communal system of agriculture based on large, unenclosed open arable fields. These large fields were subdivided 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 or lands were laid out in groups known as furlongs, which were in turn grouped into large open fields. Well-preserved ridge and furrow, especially in its original context adjacent to settlement 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 of Coates, and the remains of its open field system, survive well as a series of substantial earthworks with associated buried deposits. As a result of detailed archaeological survey and historical research they are quite well understood. The remains of house plots and hollow ways will preserve valuable evidence for domestic and economic activity on the site giving an insight into the lifestyle of the inhabitants. The remains of the moated manorial complex, which are thought to overlie those of the earlier settlement, contribute to our understanding of the way in which monastic property was managed in relation to secular settlement. The association of the village remains with those of its open fields preserves further evidence for the economy of the settlement and its place in the wider medieval landscape.


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


The monument includes the earthwork remains of the medieval village of Coates. Recorded in the late 11th century as a small settlement of about six households, by the early 14th century it had more than doubled in size. In the late 12th century the church and land at Coates were given to Welbeck Abbey in Nottinghamshire, who may have established a grange here. The village was depopulated by the Black Death in the mid-14th century, and thereafter there were no more than about ten households in the parish, some of which lay outside the village. The remains of the medieval village, together with the surviving parts of its open fields, are in two separate areas of protection. The western area of protection is situated adjacent to St Edith's churchyard. Approximately 30m to the west of the church is the northern end of a water-filled depression,`L'-shaped in plan and orientated north-south. The depression is up to 15m wide and over 1.5m deep. On the eastern side of the western arm is a broad internal bank with the remains of an external bank on the western side. Further remains of the western arm are evident as a shallow depression, partly infilled, extending northwards to the edge of the present road. The area thus enclosed is raised approximately 1m above the level of the adjacent fields and includes low earthworks indicating the presence of buried archaeological deposits. These features represent the remains of a moated manorial complex, possibly a grange of Welbeck Abbey established in the late 12th century. The moated complex, which formerly extended over the area now occupied by Coates Hall and Hall Farm, is believed to have been constructed on the site of the earlier medieval settlement at Coates. The Church of St Edith, the earliest known parts of which date from the late 12th century, was thus enclosed within the complex. While the larger part of the complex has been greatly altered by post-medieval and modern activity, and is therefore not included in the scheduling, the buried remains of the south western part of the complex, and of the settlement which preceded it, are believed to survive to the south and west of the church. The church, which is a Grade I Listed Building, and the churchyard in which it stands, are still in ecclesiastical use and are not included in the scheduling. The main area of medieval settlement remains is located east of the moated complex on the north side of the present road to Grange Farm. They take the form of a series of substantial earthworks and associated buried remains, including a linear hollow way about 0.7m in depth and aligned approximately east-west, which represents the original road through the village. Rectangular ditched enclosures ranged along each side of the street represent house plots, within which are the earth-covered remains of houses and outbuildings, while sunken areas indicate yards and ponds. To the north of the northern range of house plots, and separated from them by a deep ditch, is a series of larger rectangular enclosures within which the low earthworks of ridge and furrow cultivation are evident; these represent paddocks laid out in the medieval period over earlier arable land. Adjacent to the east of these enclosures, immediately to the west of Grange Farm, further ridge and furrow cultivation remains represent the only surviving furlong of a formerly extensive pattern of open fields surrounding the medieval village. All fences and gates 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: 22762

Legacy System: RSM

End of official listing