Rand medieval settlement


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1016980

Date first listed: 05-Oct-1974

Date of most recent amendment: 24-Nov-1999


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

County: Lincolnshire

District: West Lindsey (District Authority)

Parish: Rand

National Grid Reference: TF 10743 79121


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.

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 village of Rand, and the remains of its open field system, survive well as a series of substantial earthworks. As a result of detailed archaeological survey and historical research they are very well understood, demonstrating a process of manorialisation and expansion during a particular historic period. The remains of house plots and hollow ways will preserve valuable evidence for domestic and economic activities on the site, giving an insight into the lifestyle of the inhabitants. The remains of the manorial complex survive particularly well and will demonstrate how it functioned as a vital part of the local and regional community. The association of the village remains with those of its open fields will also preserve 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 remains of the medieval village of Rand and associated ridge and furrow cultivation. In the late 11th century Rand was part of the manor of Wragby, but during the late 12th century a separate manor was established here by the Burdet family, who retained it until the mid-14th century. During this period the population of the village increased and a planned expansion took place, while part of the area of the earlier settlement was enclosed within the manorial complex. From the late 15th century the population began to decline, probably due to enclosure for sheep pasture. By 1563 there were only seven households in the village and, by the early 19th century, just one.

The remains of the medieval village, and the ridge and furrow of its open fields, survive as a series of substantial earthworks. The core of the village lies along a natural ridge running approximately east-west. The buried remains of the earliest part of the settlement are located immediately around the medieval church of St Oswald. The churchyard and church, which is a Grade II* Listed Building, are still in ecclesiastical use and are therefore not included in the scheduling. From the south side of the churchyard a broad linear depression extends eastwards along the ridge. This is the hollow way representing the principal street of the medieval village, along which it expanded in the late 12th or 13th century. Rectangular enclosures ranged along both sides of the street represent house plots, within which raised platforms and depressions indicate the buried remains of buildings and yards. The enclosures on the north side of the street are bounded at the rear by a long linear bank running roughly parallel to the street; adjacent to the north is an area of ridge and furrow cultivation representing the only complete furlong surviving from the large open fields which formerly surrounded the medieval village. Another hollow way runs southwards from the main hollow way to the south east, where further house plots and hollow ways represent another phase of expansion associated with the later medieval period. The enclosures in this south easternmost part include settlement remains of post-medieval date.

To the north west of St Oswalds Church is a substantial moated site, situated on the north-facing slope of a small valley. The moated island measures about 35m square and is surrounded by a moat up to 2m in depth and 10m wide, now dry. Low earthworks on the interior of the moated island indicate the position of buried building remains, including those of the medieval manor house first established in the late 12th century. The moat is retained on the three downhill sides by an external bank; gaps in the bank at the north western corner and in the middle of the north side indicate the former positions of sluices through which the water level in the moat was controlled. At the south eastern corner of the moat are the remains of an inlet leat, taking the form of a linear depression which runs into the moat from the north western corner of the churchyard. Formerly linked to this leat was a small fishpond complex, the remains of which survive as a group of four partly infilled ponds on the south side of the moated site. Both the moated site and the fishponds lie within a large rectangular enclosure, the northern part of which is subdivided by ditches and banks into a series of smaller enclosures representing paddocks or gardens; traces of ridge and furrow cultivation within these enclosures indicate that the manorial complex was laid out over earlier arable fields. A long linear mound along its north eastern boundary is thought to represent the remains of a rabbit warren, while the broad linear ditch which forms the northern boundary of the complex, retained by a broad outer bank, is thought to represent a mill leat associated with a former manorial watermill. The whole manorial complex, which dates from the late 12th or early 13th century, thus enclosed an area of about 180m by 120m. Adjacent to the east of these remains are those of the early settlement, which extend both south and north of the church; a ditch separates these from an area of ridge and furrow adjacent to the north. This area of settlement and cultivation remains, bounded on the east and south by hollow ways and on the north by the stream, is believed to have been abandoned in the 13th century and enclosed within an extension to the manorial complex, which also included the church and churchyard. A small circular bank in the south eastern part of this enlarged enclosure, overlying earlier settlement earthworks, is believed to represent the remains of a manorial dovecote.

All fences, gates and pens 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: 22763

Legacy System: RSM

End of official listing