Medieval settlement at Ullington
Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number: 1017246
Date first listed: 03-Jul-2000
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This copy shows the entry on 23-Oct-2018 at 16:45:21.
The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
District: Wychavon (District Authority)
National Grid Reference: SP 10917 47084
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 a arable land,meadow and woodland.Village plans varied enormously,but when they survive as earthworks their most distinguising 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.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 a 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 at Ullington survives well and includes earthwork and buried remains of a variety of settlement features such as the toft and croft sites,parts of the manorial complex and the site of the chapel.Their preservation with little recent disturbance,will provide evidence of a range of domestic dwellings and agricultural buildings.Archaeological recording on the north western edge of the settlement has confirmed the survival of extensive buried deposits of the 12th and 13th centuries.These will provide information about forms of housing and building techniques,developing agricultural technologies and changing patterns of subsistence.Changing agricultural regimes and standards of living will be illuminated through artefactual evidence and environmental deposits which are preserved in and around the buildings.The remains of the chapel will provide information about changing ritual practices and fashions of decoration as well as indicating levels of wealth and craftsmanship.In addition the skeletal remains of the inhabitants of the medieval settlement may be preserved in an associated cemetery providing information about the dietary conditions,age and health of the rural population,and allowing statistical analysis of the changes in the population of medieval Ullington.The survival of burial goods and artefacts such as coffin fittings will also provide information about funerary practices in the settlement.
Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.
The monument includes the buried and earthwork remains of the medieval settlement of Ullington,located on gently undulating land lying to the north west of the crossroads between the Ryknield Street Roman road and the B4510.The settlement includes the remains of the manor house,the house sites,gardens and allotments of the medieval village,and its associated hollow ways,field boundaries,enclosures and ridge and furrow cultivation remains.The settlement at Ullington was already established by 1086 when it was recorded in the Domesday survey as having a chapel.It survived at least until 1334-36 when it is mentioned in the Lay subsidy rolls.The last known mention of the village was in 1486,and it is believed to be the same village of `Woolington' referred to by Rous,the 15th century commentator,in his list of deserted settlements.The settlement remains include an area of irregular tofts,(house sites including building platforms and yards),and crofts(the allotments or extended garden plots associated with the dwellings),defined by banks and ditches,lying to the west of the manor house.Them manorial complex lay in the eastern part of the settlement,at the head of the village.Ullington Hall,a largely post-medieval stone built farmhouse,occupies the site of the medieval manor house and associated buildings.Ullington Hall is Listed Grade II and excluded from the scheduling,although the ground beneath it is included.It ancillary buildings lie outside the area of the scheduling.To the west of the manor site are the remains of up to four crofts,defined by boundary ditches measuring up to 0.75m deep and 1m to 2m wide.These allotments may have also included stock pens and sheds for animals such as pigs or poultry.Several building platforms are preserved within the enclosures,and measure between 15m and 20m wide and approximately 20m long.These will contain the buried remains of several phases of medieval domestic dwellings and their ancillary buildings. At least three hollow ways or ditches aligned east to west run from the site of the settlement and manor house towards Ryknield Street Roman road.The hollow ways measure 0.75m to 1m deep and up to 3m wide and act both as boundaries between the crofts associated with the dwellings of the village and as routes from the village to the main road.In 1986 archaeological recording on the north western edge of the settlement uncovered the remains of a further hollow way with a bank on its northern side.To the north of the bank were the remains of a half timbered building with an internal hearth.The building is believed to have been destroyed by fire,and artefactual remains indicated that the building dated to the 12th and 13th centuries.To the south and east of the manor site are the remains of a triangular enclosure which is believed to include the remains of a medieval chapel represented by a shallow rectangular hollow orientated east to west and measuring approximately 20m long by 12m wide.The enclosure also includes medieval ridge and furrow cultivation remains oriented east to west suggesting that the area was once part of the village plough lands,either before or after the active life of the chapel.The remains of a medieval fishpond complex which includes a chain of three sub-rectangular stew ponds are located to the south and west of the manor,but
these have been landscaped and are not included in the scheduling.Ullington Hall,all modern fences,paths and surfaces 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: 30058
Legacy System: RSM
Various SMR Officers, Various unpublished notes in SMR file, HWCM00867
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