Medieval settlement immediately north west of Upper Littlecott Farm
- Heritage Category:
- Scheduled Monument
- List Entry Number:
- Date first listed:
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This copy shows the entry on 22-Oct-2019 at 13:06:24.
The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
- Wiltshire (Unitary Authority)
- Wiltshire (Unitary Authority)
- Lyneham and Bradenstoke
- National Grid Reference:
- SU 03195 77108
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
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.
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:
- Legacy System:
Books and journals
Crittall, E, The Victoria History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume IX, (1970), 56-57
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