Medieval settlement of Pockthorpe at Pockthorpe Hall
Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number: 1018405
Date first listed: 09-Oct-1954
Date of most recent amendment: 23-Oct-1998
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
District: East Riding of Yorkshire (Unitary Authority)
National Grid Reference: TA 03931 63375, TA 04219 63297
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 Yorkshire Wolds local region is a soft, rolling, chalk landscape with deep
valleys. Dispersed farmsteads, usually impressive creations of the late 18th
and 19th centuries, are present in small numbers. The earlier pattern of
medieval nucleated settlements - villages and hamlets - still dominates the
archaeological landscape as either deserted settlement sites or sites still
occupied by rural communities.
Medieval hamlets were organised agricultural communities, generally outlying settlements of a larger parish or township. These communities shared resources such as arable land, meadow and woodland. Settlement plans varied enormously, but where 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 paddocks. In the central province of England, villages and hamlets 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. The remains at Pockthorpe include the scatters of building material and other finds representing the locations of buildings as well as earthwork evidence for the overall layout of the hamlet. Additional buried remains such as rubbish pits will add to the understanding of medieval rural life in the area as do the upstanding agricultural earthworks to the east of the modern farm.
Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.
The monument includes the buried and earthwork remains of the hamlet of
Pockthorpe. The remians survive in two areas of protection, located in two
areas of protection, adjacent to the 19th century Pockthorpe Hall and modern
farm. The area to the west of the modern farm includes the core of the hamlet.
The area to the east of the farm includes a dewpond and additional earthworks
left by the farming activities of the medieval settlement.
Pockthorpe was recorded as Pochetorp in the Domesday Book under the
jurisdiction of Nafferton manor, held by William of Percy. It was
mentioned in a grant dated 1310 and a chapel dedicated to St Edmund the King
was recorded in 1328. The settlement was assessed at 11 shillings for the 1334
lay subsidy, but along with many other Wolds villages, it became impoverished
following the Black Death. It was granted 45 per cent relief from this
taxation in 1354. Of the 240 people over the age of 14 listed in Nafferton
parish for the 1377 poll tax, 18 lived in Pockthorpe. The chapel noted in 1328
is thought to have become disused as it was not investigated for the 1548
Dissolution of the chantries. In 1559 the manor of Pockthorpe was recorded as
being in the possession of the Leeds family and the hamlet was still in
existence in 1650 when it was noted in a survey. In the 18th century,
Pockthorpe changed hands several times until it was enclosed in 1772. The
hamlet is believed to have then been finally cleared of its last tenants,
leaving only the hall in existence. In 1849 part of the hall was demolished to
make way for the Victorian house that now remains.
A 1946 aerial photograph shows the earthworks of the hamlet very clearly. The
earthworks to the west were mapped in detail by the Ordnance Survey in 1975,
and although all, except the two paddocks to the south, have since been
rounded by ploughing, they can still be traced on the ground with levelled
areas marking building plots and enclosure boundaries by breaks of slope and
changes in level. The central feature is a trackway which survives as a linear
hollow running east-west. The higher ground to the north of this trackway is
divided into two main enclosures, each about 80m east-west, and each
originally with further internal subdivisions. Towards the centre of the
eastern enclosure there is a level platform which the 1946 photograph showed
to have been occupied by a set of wall lines describing a building complex 25m
square around a central courtyard. This has been interpreted as the medieval
manor house. Just to the east of this complex, along the edge of the
enclosure, there are two further level areas marking the location of two
large, probable farm buildings, one possibly a barn. The western enclosure was
further subdivided and included two building plots. The first fronted onto the
street with the second set about 30m to the north. Both buildings were sited
to the east of the centreline of the main enclosure, orientated east-west and
were about 20m long and 5m-6m wide. The western half of this second main
enclosure appears to have been a croft, a small paddock without buildings. To
the south of the trackway there were three smaller enclosures extending
southwards for about 80m ending at an east-west break of slope. The
westernmost included a building 20m by 10m fronting onto the street with at
least three smaller outbuildings behind. The eastern enclosure included a pair
of small buildings also fronting onto the street, both about 10m by 4m, which
are interpreted as long houses as they appear to have been divided internally
into two. The smaller western part of the building would have been the
domestic accommodation, with the larger part forming a byre, given over to
livestock. There is some evidence that the central enclosure also contained a
similar building. To the south of the east-west break of slope, which forms
the boundary between the two unploughed paddocks, there are a number of
building platforms which are considered to be the sites of further small
houses and farm buildings.
The hamlet may have originally extended both further west into fields now
totally levelled by ploughing and further east beneath the modern farm
buildings and the Victorian hall. Aerial photographs of crop marks in the
field to the west shows that the trackway splits into two just west of the
monument with one track heading north west to Creyke Farm and the other
The area to the east of the modern farm contains a number of features related
to the farming life of the medieval settlement. The first is a partly infilled
20m diameter dewpond. This artificially constructed pond would have collected
both water from rain and morning dew for watering livestock. To the north of
this pond there is a low banked enclosure approximately 30m square. To the
south there are two further artificial ponds. On the level ground above and to
the east of the ponds, there is a set of ridge and furrow orientated north-
south, being the remains of medieval ploughing practice.
Excluded from the scheduling are all modern fencing and gateposts that cross
the monument and the small brick building in the field to the east of the
farm, although the ground beneath 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: 30145
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