Medieval settlement remains at East Farndon

Overview

Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1017190

Date first listed: 14-Mar-2000

Map

Ordnance survey map of Medieval settlement remains at East Farndon
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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Location

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

County: Northamptonshire

District: Daventry (District Authority)

Parish: East Farndon

National Grid Reference: SP 71573 84949, SP 71814 85322

Summary

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 Inner Midlands sub-Province of the Central Province, an area characterised by large numbers of nucleated settlements, both surviving and deserted, many of which are thought to have been established in Anglo-Saxon times. Most of the sub-Province's thinly scattered dispersed settlements were created in post-medieval times, but some of the local regions are characterised by higher proportions of dispersed dwellings and hamlets, which probably mark the patchy survival of older landscapes. The Stour-Avon-Soar Clay Vales local region is dominated by village and hamlet settlements. It was once characterised by large townfields under communal cultivation, traces which survive as ridge and furrow earthworks. It contains the sites of many depopulated villages and hamlets, perhaps up to one third of the total number of such settlements which existed in the Middle Ages.

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 remains at East Farndon survive as well defined earthworks and associated buried features in which evidence for the nature of the settlement will be preserved. The enclosures 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 relating to the development of the settlement. Artefacts buried in association with the buildings will provide further insights into the lifestyle of the inhabitants and assist in dating the changes through time. Environmental evidence may also be preserved, illustrating the economy of the hamlet and providing further information about its agricultural regime.

History

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

Details

The monument includes the earthwork and buried remains of part of the medieval settlement at East Farndon, within two areas of protection. The settlement is located on a spur of high ground rising to the south east near the parish church, whilst on either side of the village the land falls steeply away to the west, north and east. The settlement is recorded in the Domesday survey, and possible Roman settlement remains, as well as some later Saxon pottery sherds have been recorded in the area. The common fields of the parish were enclosed during 1780, and surviving medieval ridge and furrow cultivation remains, on the steepest slopes surrounding the village, suggest that at some time during the history of the settlement a high population placed pressure on the available arable land. The first area of protection lies to the north of the present day village, in fields to the north east of Home Farm adjacent to the Harborough Road. It includes the earthwork and buried remains of at least three enclosures defined by shallow ditches or hollow ways, measuring up to 3m wide and 1.5m deep. The eastern end of the enclosures, aligned along the road include a number of building platforms, measuring up to 0.75m high. These are believed to include the remains of several houses, including their outbuildings. All of the enclosures include evidence of small scale quarrying, perhaps for building materials, and also have traces of ridge and furrow cultivation remains. The northernmost boundary ditch, aligned approximately east to west, measures up to 1.5m deep and 3m wide. It runs from the Harborough Road, up the slope between the enclosures and may have formed an extension to the original back lane of the settlement. The second area of protection lies to the south west of the modern settlement in fields to the south west of East Farndon Hall, and includes the earthwork and buried remains of at least three enclosures, also aligned along the main street. The enclosures are defined by shallow boundary ditches or hollow ways and include a number of low earthen platforms, which are believed to be the remains of houses and outbuildings. The buildings were arranged within the enclosures along a crest of high ground, parallel to the course of the main street. To the west of the settlement remains, lying behind the house sites, on the edge of the high ground, are the remains of a deeply hollowed back lane or boundary ditch, measuring up to 2.5m deep and 6.5m wide and defined on either side by low external banks. To the south east of the second area of protection, is an area of heavily disturbed earthworks created by gravel extraction and including a modern pond and landscaping. The quarrying has removed any remains which formerly survived and the area is therefore not included in the scheduling. Lying between the two areas of protection, defining the rear of the settlement on its western side, are further traces of the back hollow way or boundary ditch, which suggest that the feature was originally continuous. These remains are however, very slight and have been affected by later building, landscaping and agriculture and are also not included in the scheduling. All modern surfaces and 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.

Legacy

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

Legacy System number: 30076

Legacy System: RSM

Sources

Books and journals
RCHME, , 'The county of Northamptonshire' in East Farndon Parish, , Vol. vol 3, (1981), 83-86

End of official listing