Lower Harford medieval settlement


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1018528

Date first listed: 15-Jul-1948

Date of most recent amendment: 24-Jul-1998


Ordnance survey map of Lower Harford medieval settlement
© 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.

County: Gloucestershire

District: Cotswold (District Authority)

Parish: Naunton

National Grid Reference: SP 13005 22448


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. This monument lies in the Cotswold Scarp and Vales sub-Province of the Central Province, a scarp and vale landscape extending south eastwards from the clays and alluvium of the Severn Plain, over the limestones of the Cotswolds to the Oxford Clay Vale. Villages and hamlets concentrate thickly in the Severn Valley and the Vale of Pewsey, but are only moderately dense elsewhere. They are most thinly scattered on the higher ridge of the north east Cotswolds, an area where in 1851 there were low populations and frequent deserted villages. Overall, there are very low concentrations of dispersed farmsteads, the only exceptions being the Vale of Pewsey and the Upper Avon and Thames watershed. The Windrush-Coln-Thames Valley local region is similar to areas to the north and east in having very low densities of scattered dwellings; but it differs from them in also having widely spaced villages and hamlets. At the same time, there is less evidence here of medieval village depopulation than there is in adjacent regions.

The medieval settlement of Lower Harford is a good example of a nucleated medieval settlement in this sub-province. It has prominant earthworks which mark the locations of village and water management features. The earthworks will contain archaeological deposits and environmental evidence relating to the settlement and the 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 the lower slopes of a north east facing hillside in the Cotswolds. The settlement includes earthworks indicating the sites of houses and other village features. On the higher ground are scarps which are levelled into the hillside to provide building platforms along the length of the settlement. Other occupational areas are concentrated at the south end of the settlement where there is a holloway running north east-south west which has six house platforms flanking it. On the lower ground there are water management features which take advantage of overspill from the river. These water management features follow the line of the river along the valley bottom and include, at the north end of the settlement, two channels which drain water from the higher slopes into the flat valley bottom, where there is a water meadow. At the south end is a pond 16m square with water channels running to it. Documentary evidence indicates that the village had seven inhabitants in 1086, but only two by 1327. A number of features are excluded from the scheduling; these are the lean-to building which is a barn and store in the west corner of the field, post and wire fences and cotswold stone walls which are part of the field boundaries, and wood and metal gates; the ground beneath all 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: 28853

Legacy System: RSM


SMR No 94, Gloucester C. C. SMR,

End of official listing