Ogle moated site, medieval village and open field system


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Date of most recent amendment:


© Crown Copyright and database right 2021. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2021. 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 - 1017737.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 18-Jun-2021 at 02:35:49.


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

Northumberland (Unitary Authority)
National Grid Reference:
NZ 13654 78851, NZ 13785 79136, NZ 13891 78718, NZ 14036 78904

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 Northumbrian Plain local region is an extensive, undulating lowland. Its landscape bears many signs of agrarian improvement and reconstruction in the 18th and 19th centuries, including rectangular fields and post-medieval dispersed farmsteads. The earthworks of deserted and shrunken village settlements and the ridge and furrow of former arable townfields indicate the pattern of medieval, `pre-improvement' agrarian and settlement structures.

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 houses stood and other buildings such as barns, enclosed crofts and small enclosed paddocks. 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 baulks. 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. The medieval village and moated site at Ogle are well preserved and retain significant archaeological deposits. Taken together with the remains of the open field system they will add greatly to our knowledge and understanding of the development of medieval settlement in the region.


The monument includes Ogle Castle moated site, the abandoned remains of the medieval village of Ogle and part of its associated open field system, situated on the left bank of the Ogle Burn. It is divided into four separate areas of protection. The historical context of the monument is recorded in several documents and it is known that from the 12th century until the late 16th century the manor was held by the Ogle family before descending to the Cavendish family. An estate map of 1632 shows that at this time the village comprised 16 houses and a castle. By 1830 the village had become considerably shrunken with almost half of its farms having been dispersed to other parts of the estate. The medieval plan of the village is a type well known in this part of Northumberland in which two parallel lines of houses face onto a broad rectangular village green with narrow crofts or garden areas to the rear. Ogle, although shrunken from its once larger medieval size, is still occupied and the basic medieval plan has been retained with some of the original plots currently occupied by modern houses. This type of village in northern England is thought to be the result of deliberate planning by Norman rulers attempting to exert control over a rebellious region during the 11th and 12th centuries. The tofts of the northern half of the village have become totally abandoned and they survive as a series of prominent earthworks on the north side of the present village street to the west of Ogle Castle. The earthworks are visible as a line of rectangular platforms or tofts, containing the foundations of timber long houses. The foundations stand to an average height of 0.3m. To the rear of each toft there are the well defined remains of at least 12 linear crofts or garden areas, each bounded from its neighbour by a bank on average 0.6m high. Some of the crofts, particularly at the western end of the street, contain the remains of ridge and furrow cultivation. The street is bounded on the north by a continuous perimeter bank which runs the length of the village and serves to separate the village from its surrounding open field system. The north row of the village faces onto a broad rectangular open space which contains the remains of banks and hollows. This was formerly the village green which has become encroached upon by modern housing at its south western corner. The rectangular foundations of a long house, visible on the village green at its eastern end, indicate that there was also medieval encroachment onto the green. The green narrows at its western end to form a funnelled hollow way, or driftway, which turns southwards through the open fields and gave access to an area of common pasture. A less substantial hollow way also gives access from the west end of the green through the open fields to the north. Much of the south row of the village remains in use and many of the medieval plots are occupied by modern houses; they face onto the modern road which runs along the southern edge of the former village green and are not included in the scheduling. At the rear of these plots, however, the southern part of their associated linear crofts survive. There appear to have been at least 12 crofts on this row, suggesting a uniform number on each street. The crofts on the south side are similarly bounded by a continuous perimeter bank separating the village from the surrounding open field system. Parts of the once more extensive open fields survive; to the north and south of the village there are several medieval furlongs or fields bounded by intact headlands. Each furlong contains ridge and furrow cultivation which survives well and stands to a maximum height of 0.6m. At the eastern end of the north row of the village are the remains of a large enclosure bounded by an earthen bank standing to a height of 1m. This enclosure is an integral part of the village and is clearly medieval in origin. Within the enclosure there are the partially infilled remains of a double moated site. Part of the inner moat on the northern side and all of its western arm survive well where they are on average 2m deep. At the north west corner the inner moat stands up to 4m deep. Part of the southern arm of the outer moat also survives as a slight earthwork 0.4m deep. The remainder of the two moats have become infilled but the course of the outer moat can be traced on the north and south sides as a slight depression in pasture. The eastern arm of the moat is no longer visible and has been infilled and partially built over. The island of the moated site contains the remains of a medieval structure which was remodelled during the 16th century. The original medieval buildings are thought to have included a tower with an attached manor house as licence to crenellate was granted in 1341 and a document of 1415 lists the existence of a `castrum' at Ogle. A number of features are excluded from the scheduling; these are the house known as Ogle Castle (Listed Grade I), a pantile roofed garage, a length of garden wall, the sheds with a granary above (all Listed Grade II), all other barns, garden sheds, greenhouses, garden walls and all stone walls and fences, telegraph poles, horse shelters, garden furniture, garden retaining walls and the surfaces of all roads, drives, paths and yards; although the ground beneath all 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:
Legacy System:


Books and journals
Beresford, M W, St Joseph, J K S, Medieval England: An Aerial Survey, (1979), 113
Beresford, M W, St Joseph, J K S, Medieval England: An Aerial Survey, (1979), 113-4
Beresford, M W, St Joseph, J K S, Medieval England: An Aerial Survey, (1979), 113-4
Ryder, P F, Towers and Bastles in Northumberland: Part III Castle Morpeth, (1996), 53-5
Gates, T M, SF/3373/17, (1987)
NZ17NW 02,
NZ17NW 04,


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

Your Contributions

Do you know more about this entry?

The following information has been contributed by users volunteering for our Enriching The List project. For small corrections to the List Entry please see our Minor Amendments procedure.

The information and images below are the opinion of the contributor, are not part of the official entry and do not represent the official position of Historic England. We have not checked that the contributions below are factually accurate. Please see our terms and conditions. If you wish to report an issue with a contribution or have a question please email [email protected].