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


Ordnance survey map of Medieval settlement of Pockthorpe at Pockthorpe Hall
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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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)

Parish: Nafferton

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 continuing westwards. 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


SMR, 3992,

End of official listing