Medieval settlement remains, post mill and field system 240m north of Pinchinthorpe Hall
Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number: 1017317
Date first listed: 18-Jul-2000
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This copy shows the entry on 17-Dec-2018 at 07:01:34.
The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
District: Redcar and Cleveland (Unitary Authority)
National Grid Reference: NZ 57570 14270
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.
The Cleveland Bench local region is a slightly elevated, undulating lowland
skirting the northern and western sides of the North York Moors. Settlement is
largely in the form of nucleated villages which were established in the Middle
Ages, and which bear traces of their original rectilinear planning. Shrunken
and deserted villages are common, now often marked only by an isolated, still
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. In the Central Province of England, villages were the most distinctive aspect of medieval 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 villages 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 defined by terminal headlands at the plough-turning points and lateral grass balks. Furlongs were in turn grouped into large open fields. Well-preserved ridge and furrow, especially in its original context adjacent to village earthworks, is both an important source of information about medieval agrarian life and a distinctive contribution to the character of the historic landscape. It is usually now covered by the hedges or walls of subsequent field enclosure. Post mills were a form of windmills in the medieval period in which the wooden superstructure rotated about a central vertical post. The central post was mounted on vertical cross timbers which were stabilised by being set into a mound. The whole superstructure of such a mill was rotated to face into the wind by pushing a horizontal pole projecting from the mill on the opposite side to the sails. The end of this pole was supported by a wheel and rotation eventually resulted in a shallow ditch surrounding a mill mound. Post mills were in use from the 12th century onwards. No medieval examples of the wooden superstructure survive today but the mounds, typically between 15m and 25m in diameter, survive as field monuments. In general only those mounds which are components of larger sites or which are likely to preserve organic deposits will be considered worthy of protection through scheduling. The medieval settlement of Pinchinthorpe and the remains of its open field system are reasonably well preserved and retain significant archaeological deposits. The village is a good example of its type and taken together with the remains of the open field system and the site of a windmill it will contribute to our knowledge of medieval and later settlement in the region.
Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.
The monument includes remains of part of the medieval village of
Pinchinthorpe, the site of a post mill and part of an associated field system,
situated on the left bank of the Bridle Gill at the foot of Roseberry Topping.
Pinchinthorpe Hall moated site and post-medieval gardens are the subject of a
In the Domesday Book of 1086 there were two separate manors at Pinchinthorpe,
one of which was described as `waste' and the other as belonging to the king.
A village at Pinchinthorpe was mentioned in 14th century taxation documents
and in 1367 it was described as containing 10 houses and 25 tofts. By 1519
the village had shrunk to only six houses and on the tithe map of 1839 two
buildings were depicted.
The village includes at least one row of enclosures aligned along the south
eastern side of a hollow way. There are six enclosures, rectangular in shape,
measuring on average 16m by 20m bounded by banks standing to a maximum height
of 0.5m, and in some cases by ditches 0.5m deep. The most north easterly
enclosure at the end of the row is larger than the others and is 30m square.
These enclosures, interpreted as a row of medieval house sites (tofts) and
associated allotments (crofts), are bounded on the south east side by a
substantial perimeter bank 0.6m high which runs parallel to the modern road.
Aerial photographs indicate that some of the enclosures contain the remains of
medieval rig and furrow cultivation. On the north western side of the hollow
way, there is a single enclosure of similar dimensions to those on the south
east; this enclosure is interpreted as another toft and croft which marked the
south eastern end of a second row of houses. The row has been encroached upon
by part of a medieval field system.
The field system is visible as part of a medieval furlong or field surrounding
the village on the north west and south west sides. The furlong contains the
remains of ridge and furrow cultivation; the ridges, orientated north west to
south east, are on average 6m wide and stand to a maximum height of 0.6m
between furrows 2m wide.
Some 100m north west of the settlement the remains of what is interpreted as
the mound of a post mill are situated on the summit of a natural hillock. The
remains are visible as a roughly oval-shaped depression 1m deep and 4m by 5m
across containing a slight central ridge. There are traces of a low mound on
the north and south sides. On the east and western sides the position of the
post mill is defined by a cut in the underlying medieval ridge and furrow,
indicating that the post mill was later than the ridge and furrow.
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: 32726
Legacy System: RSM
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