Medieval settlement at Nobold, 440m east of Lowe Farm


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1017183

Date first listed: 12-Oct-1980

Date of most recent amendment: 14-Dec-1999


Ordnance survey map of Medieval settlement at Nobold, 440m east of Lowe Farm
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This copy shows the entry on 23-Oct-2018 at 19:25:14.


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

County: Northamptonshire

District: Daventry (District Authority)

Parish: Clipston

County: Northamptonshire

District: Daventry (District Authority)

Parish: Sibbertoft

National Grid Reference: SP 69516 82063


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 East Midlands sub-Province of the Central Province, an area characterised in the Middle Ages by large numbers of nucleated settlements. The sites of many of these settlements are now occupied by modern villages, but others have been partially or wholly deserted and are marked by earthwork remains. Most of these settlements were first documented in the 11th century, in Domesday Book. The southern part of the sub-Province has greater variety of settlement, with dispersed farmsteads and hamlets intermixed with the villages. Whilst some of the dispersed settlements are post-medieval, others may represent much older farming landscapes. The Soar Valley and Nene Plateau local region comprises the low hill country of the Soar Valley and, to the south east, a low plateau dissected by the tributaries of the Nene and Welland. Nucleated villages and hamlets dominate the region, but gaps are found within the pattern in Rockingham Forest, in Rutland and in High Leicestershire where they are linked to the location of woodland in and before the 11th century.

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 survive also as visible remains as well as below ground deposits. In the central province of England, villages were the most distinctive aspect of rural 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. The medieval settlement at Nobold survives as an area of well defined earthworks and associated buried remains in which evidence for the nature of the settlement will be preserved. The crofts and building platforms will contain buried evidence for houses, barns and other structures, accompanied by a range of boundaries, refuse pits, wells and drainage channels, all related to the development of the settlement. The settlement at Nobold appears to have resulted from a late foundation, having a short duration and early abandonment, suggesting that the settlement represented an overflow establishment from the nearby parish of Clipston and may have included inhabitants from up to three different manors. The settlement appears to have existed largely during the period of highest population pressure and to have been abandoned soon after the population collapse of the 14th century, which was caused by a combination of worsening climate, pressure on land, and disease. As a short lived settlement, the remains at Nobold will provide insights into a particular period in the history of settlement in the Midlands. Buried artefacts, in association with the buildings will provide further evidence of the lifestyle of the inhabitants and assist in dating the development of the settlement over time. Environmental evidence may also be preserved, illustrating the economy of the hamlet and providing further information about its agricultural regime. Antiquarian reports suggest that the settlement had its own cemetery, and this will preserve buried human remains which will provide information about the population of the settlement including their diet, standards of living and life expectancy, as well as providing information about funerary practices and rituals.


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


The monument includes the buried and earthwork remains of the medieval settlement at Nobold, located on the east facing slope of a high ridge. The village name is first recorded in 1284 when it had 35 virgates of land divided between three estates. This late recording of the name and the name Nobold, or `new build' suggests that the settlement was a late or secondary foundation. The settlement was usually included in taxation assessments with the village of Clipston. In 1381 its three common fields were noted, when the tenants of the largest of the estates were recorded. By 1459 only two houses remained in this estate, although little is known of the fate of the other two estates. The village had long been abandoned by the 18th century, when the field was called `Old Nobold (New Build) Close', and part of the site, where human bones had been recorded, was still known as the churchyard. The earthwork remains of the settlement measure up to 0.5m high, except for a broad hollow way measuring up to 1m deep and 6m wide which crosses the site from east to west. On either side of the hollow way are the remains of the earthen building platforms of the medieval house sites, set within embanked enclosures, or gardens. These survive best on the northern side of the eastern end of the hollow way; elsewhere later medieval ridge and furrow cultivation remains partly or wholly overlie the remains. Behind the house sites are the remains of long enclosures, or crofts, as wide as the houses and approximately 60m long. These acted as the allotments for the householders and are also partly overlain by ridge and furrow. At its western end the hollow way ends in an area of irregular earthworks enclosed by a bank and ditch. This may represent the location of the chapel or church, or a high status dwelling. A second hollow way ran to the south or rear of the settlement remains, also orientated east to west and lying parallel with the main street. This second hollow way acted as a back lane to the settlement and is echoed to the north by the course of the modern road. The remains of a quarry lie to the south west of the settlement earthworks. All modern post and wire fences 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.


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

Legacy System number: 30069

Legacy System: RSM


Clipton parish, RCHMe, RCHME Northamptonshire, Northamptonshire,
Clipton parish, RCHMe, RCHME Northamptonshire, Northamptonshire,
Clipton parish, RCHMe, RCHME Northamptonshire, Northamptonshire,
Various SMR Officers, Various unpublished notes in SMR, SMR File 684

End of official listing