Braunstonbury deserted medieval village, moat and fishpond


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1017580

Date first listed: 19-Jan-1967

Date of most recent amendment: 13-Feb-1992


Ordnance survey map of Braunstonbury deserted medieval village, moat and fishpond
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2018. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
Use of this data is subject to Terms and Conditions.

The above map is for quick reference purposes only and may not be to scale. For a copy of the full scale map, please see the attached PDF - 1017580 .pdf

The PDF will be generated from our live systems and may take a few minutes to download depending on how busy our servers are. We apologise for this delay.

This copy shows the entry on 15-Dec-2018 at 06:32:35.


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

County: Northamptonshire

District: Daventry (District Authority)

Parish: Braunston

National Grid Reference: SP 53354 65668


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

Reasons for Designation

The village, comprising a small group of houses, gardens, yards, streets, paddocks, often with a green, a manor and a church, and with a community devoted primarily to agriculture, was a significant component of the rural landscape in most areas of medieval England, much as it is today. Villages provided some services to the local community and acted as the main focal point of ecclesiastical, and often of manorial, administration within each parish. Although the sites of many of these villages have been occupied continuously down to the present day, many others declined in size or were abandoned throughout the medieval and post-medieval periods, particularly during the 14th and 15th centuries. As a result over 2000 deserted medieval villages are recorded nationally. The reasons for desertion were varied but often reflected declining economic viability, changes in land use such as enclosure or emparkment, or population fluctuations as a result of widespread epidemics such as the Black Death. As a consequence of their abandonment these villages are frequently undisturbed by later occupation and contain well-preserved archaeological deposits. Because they are a common and long-lived monument type in most parts of England, they provide important information on the diversity of medieval settlement patterns and farming economy between the regions and through time.

Braunstonbury deserted medieval village is recorded as a site of manorial status occupied until the Dissolution. The earthworks of the village are extensive and are very well preserved. The remains therefore have considerable archaeological potential relating to the construction and development of the manor house, peasant dwellings and farm buildings. The proximity of the second village at Wolfhampcote demonstrates the unusual density of settlement, prior to desertion, in this area of Northamptonshire in the medieval period.


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


The monument consists of the deserted medieval village of Braunstonbury, which incorporates both a moated site and a large manorial fishpond. The earthworks of the deserted medieval village of Braunstonbury cover an area measuring approximately 275m x 350m. Banks and ditches up to 1m high indicate the location of hollow ways and tracks which ran through the village, and raised rectangular areas beside the tracks are the sites of building platforms. A hollow way 1m deep runs from the north east of the site towards the south and two village greens lie beside this roadway. On the western edge of the village, just to the south of the moat, the outline of a small building with two rooms can be seen. A depression to the south of this building platform is probably the site of a crew yard, for keeping animals. The site lies in an area called Chapel Field and probably refers to a chapel which lay close to the manor house. The moated site covers an area about 75m x 60m and lies in the north west corner of the deserted medieval village. The four sided moat island is of irregular shape and is completely surrounded by a ditch. The moat may be the site of the manor house of the village, or a homestead farm. To the north of the moated site and the village, in an area called Fish Weir Field, is an extremely large fishpond, of which the banks still stand up to 2m high. The fishpond is about 420m long and 88m wide, and is connected to the moated site by a water channel. At present a stream runs east from the River Leam between the moat and the fishpond, and this originally supplied the water system for the ponds and moat. The whole site is surrounded by the ridge and furrow field system which completes the medieval landscape. The village was a manor which belonged to Lilleshall Abbey in Shropshire, and was still tenanted in 1421. At the Dissolution these lands were sold to the Earl of Rutland. About 200m to the west of the village lies a second deserted village of Wolfhampcote, Warks. All buildings and made up roadways and paths on the site are excluded from the scheduling, but the ground beneath 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: 13640

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Allison, K J, Beresford, M W, Hurst, J G, The Deserted Villages of Northamptonshire, (1966), 36
Beresford, M W, St Joseph, J K S, Medieval England: An Aerial Survey, (1979), 126-7

End of official listing