Medieval settlement immediately north west of Upper Littlecott Farm


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1018420

Date first listed: 15-Feb-1999


Ordnance survey map of Medieval settlement immediately north west of Upper Littlecott Farm
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This copy shows the entry on 17-Nov-2018 at 15:51:16.


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

District: Wiltshire (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Hilmarton

District: Wiltshire (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Lyneham and Bradenstoke

National Grid Reference: SU 03195 77108


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 Upper Avon and Thames local region has mixed characteristics, with elements of both `village' and `woodland' landscapes. It is distinguished by substantial densities of villages and hamlets associated with moderate numbers of scattered farmsteads, giving a rather dense overall pattern, but the region still carried woodland in 1086, and the Braden and Chippenham Forests reflect this.

The medieval settlement at Upper Littlecott Farm is well preserved and is a good example of its class displaying particularly substantial and well defined features. The estate and settlement of Littlecott is well documented from the early medieval period onwards.


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


The monument includes the remains of a medieval settlement located on the eastern side of a small river valley, cut into coral rag, 2.6km north west of the chalk scarp of the Marlborough Downs. The monument includes a hollow way up to 1.6m deep and 10m wide running south east-north west down the side of the valley for a length of 140m. It is flanked on either side by substantial house platforms, up to 2m high set into the hillside. At its lower end, the hollow way opens out where it meets another shorter section running south west-north east for 40m. To the north east, another shallower hollow way, 0.6m deep running parallel to the main street is interpreted as a back lane to the settlement. Land in Littlecott (then Lytla Coton) was included in a grant dated AD 962 of ten estates in Hilmarton by King Edgar to thegne Wulfmaer. The descent of ownership can be traced from 1242 until the present day. It was assessed for tax in 1334, for a sum of 26 shillings. The estate was granted to Bradenstoke Priory in 1448, and, after the Dissolution of the Monasteries, to William Button. By 1773 the settlement has shrunk to two farms, Upper and Lower Littlecott, as it remains today. All fence posts and cattle troughs are excluded from the scheduling, 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: 31647

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Crittall, E, The Victoria History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume IX, (1970), 56-57

End of official listing