Lower Ditchford medieval settlement


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1018152

Date first listed: 12-Jun-1959

Date of most recent amendment: 29-Apr-1998


Ordnance survey map of Lower Ditchford medieval settlement
© Crown Copyright and database right 2019. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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This copy shows the entry on 23-Jan-2019 at 13:19:28.


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

County: Gloucestershire

District: Cotswold (District Authority)

Parish: Blockley

County: Gloucestershire

District: Cotswold (District Authority)

Parish: Todenham

National Grid Reference: SP 22715 36678


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.

The medieval settlement of Lower Ditchford is a good example of a nucleated medieval settlement in the central province inner midlands sub-province. It has prominant earthworks which mark the locations of village features, arable areas and water management features. These earthworks and additional buried remains will contain archaeological deposits and environmental evidence relating to the settlement and the agricultural landscape in which it was constructed.


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


The monument includes a medieval settlement on a south west-facing slope in a valley in the Cotswolds. Knee Brook runs along the valley bottom. The settlement includes earthworks indicating the sites of houses and other village features, areas of medieval agriculture and water management features. The settlement is orientated north east-south west following the course of Knee Brook. On the west bank of Knee Brook, the south west end of the monument contains the occupation area of the settlement. Here a hollow way, 1m deep, enters the field from the south.The hollow way doglegs to the north west, widening to form a village green with a pond, 0.75m deep, on its south side and house platforms on both sides along its whole length. The street narrows and then widens again at its north west end to form another green. To the north east of the occupation area are a series of enclosures, separated by ditches or hollow ways. A wide droveway links the enclosures to the stream and gives access to the enclosures. To the east of the enclosures are a series of large fields lying close to the brook. These appear to have been seasonal meadows which could be flooded in winter. Their high western banks, 4m wide and 0.8m high, would prevent water reaching the higher levels where the house platforms and enclosures lay. To the north east of the enclosures is evidence of medieval agriculture in the form of ridge and furrow. There are a number of mounds in the settlement, 8m in diameter and 0.5m high, which are considered to be clearance mounds. On the east side of the brook there are a couple of house platforms adjacent to the road in the south end of the field. An old course of the brook runs through this field and opens into a pond in the north part of the field. This pond has banks 1m high. A number of features are excluded from the scheduling; these are the post and wire fences which are part of the field boundaries and wood and metal gates; the ground beneath these features is, however, 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: 28857

Legacy System: RSM

End of official listing