Medieval rural settlement at Quemerford


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:


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

Wiltshire (Unitary Authority)
National Grid Reference:
SU 00832 69833, SU 00970 69844

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 Upper Avon and Thames local region has mixed characteristics, with elements of both `village' and `woodland' landscapes. It is distinguished by substantial densities of villages and hamlets associated with moderate numbers of scattered farmsteads, giving a rather dense overall pattern, but the region still carried woodland in 1086, and the Braden and Chippenham Forests reflect this.

The medieval rural settlement at Quemerford Farm is well preserved and is a good example of its class within this sub-Province. It will contain archaeological remains and environmental evidence relating to the monument and the landscape in which it was constructed.


The monument, which falls into two areas, includes the remains of part of a medieval settlement located to the south of Quemerford Farm and either side of a track, the origins of which may be contemporary with the settlement. The monument is situated on the edge of the Kimmeridge clay in a small valley cut by the River Marden. Immediately to the north coral rag rises gently towards Calne. The settlement area divides into two parts. To the west of the track and at the western edge of the area east of the track, there is a series of well- defined house platforms, up to 0.6m high. Those which abut and are aligned on the track provide clear evidence of its antiquity, a point also confirmed by the route it provides between the settlement and the 13th century St Peter's Church, now in Blackland Park. Linear banks surround and run between the platforms. These features represent the boundaries of enclosures or closes; one prominent example running parallel to the track on the west side stands 1m high. Beyond the area of house platforms to the east is a series of less distinct earthwork features representing fields. These were arranged on a different alignment and fill the intervening area between the Quemerford settlement and a further settlement some 250m further east. This eastern settlement has been levelled by agricultural operations over the years and is not included in the scheduling. Although less well preserved than the earthworks west of the track, the visible remains of fields between the two settlements are included in the scheduling as they represent a further dimension to the monument not represented elsewhere. To the west of the track, earthworks and buried remains are likely to extend beyond the scheduling to the north, representing a further area of medieval settlement. Remains also extend into Blackland Park to the south. The monument includes the main focus of occupation and agricultural activity and these areas, to the north and south are not included in the scheduling. All fence posts 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. It includes a 2 metre boundary around the archaeological features, considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.


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

Legacy System number:
Legacy System:


Books and journals
Currie, C, Earthworks at Quemerford near Calne, Wiltshire, (1986)


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 Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

End of official listing

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