Medieval village remains immediately south of the church


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1018577

Date first listed: 02-Dec-1998


Ordnance survey map of Medieval village remains immediately south of the church
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This copy shows the entry on 14-Dec-2018 at 01:37:04.


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

County: Leicestershire

District: Harborough (District Authority)

Parish: Carlton Curlieu

National Grid Reference: SP 69307 96959


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 East Midlands sub-Province of the Central Province, an area characterised in the Middle Ages by large numbers of nucleated settlements. The sites of many of these settlements are now occupied by modern villages, but others have been partially or wholly deserted and are marked by earthwork remains. Most of these settlements were first documented in the 11th century, in Domesday Book. The southern part of the sub-Province has greater variety of settlement, with dispersed farmsteads and hamlets intermixed with the villages. Whilst some of the dispersed settlements are post-medieval, others may represent much older farming landscapes. The Soar Valley and Nene Plateau local region comprises the low hill country of the Soar Valley and, to the south east, a low plateau dissected by the tributaries of the Nene and Welland. Nucleated villages and hamlets dominate the region, but gaps are found within the pattern in Rockingham Forest, in Rutland and in High Leicestershire where they are linked to the location of woodland in and before the 11th century.

Medieval villages were organised agricultural communities, sited at the centre of a parish or township, that shared resources such as arable land, meadow and woodland. Village plans varied enormously, but when 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 small enclosed paddocks. They frequently include the parish church within their boundaries, and as part of the manorial system most villages include one or more manorial centres which may also survive as visible remains as well as below ground deposits. In the central province of England, villages 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. Medieval villages were supported by a communal system of agriculture based on large, unenclosed open arable fields. These large fields were divided into strips which were allocated to individual tenants. The cultivation of these strips with heavy ploughs produced long, wide ridges, and the resultant `ridge and furrow', where it survives, is the most obvious physical indication of the open field system. Well preserved ridge and furrow, especially in its original context adjacent to village earthworks, is both an important source of information about medieval agrarian life and a distinctive contribution to the character of the historic landscape. The remains of the deserted areas of the medieval settlement of Carlton Curlieu survive particularly well as a series of substantial earthworks. They remain largely undisturbed with the result that the preservation of archaeological deposits is likely to be good, and will provide an insight into the economy, development and eventual decline of the settlement. In addition, organic deposits relating to the use of Carlton Curlieu are likely to survive in the area of the ponds and the brook, and will provide information about the environment in which the settlement was established. The diversity of the archaeological remains compliment the existing documentary evidence and together provide a rare historical sequence for the village which will add greatly to our knowledge and understanding of the nature of medieval settlement in the area.


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


The monument includes the abandoned medieval settlement remains of the village of Carlton Curlieu, located immediately south of the parish church. The remains of the deserted areas of the medieval village take the form of a series of earthworks and buried features located in relation to two hollow ways which comprise the principal thoroughfares through the settlement. The southern hollow way is a maximum of 15m in width, 1.5m in depth and runs for 190m on an east-west axis from the Carlton-Kibworth road. A series of up to seven parallel field boundaries run from the hollow way to a brook 90m to the north. The easternmost boundary ditch feeds into a pond situated immediately south of the brook which survives as a sub-rectangular depression up to 30m in length, 10m in width and 1.5m in depth. A second pond consisting of a semi- embanked depression approximately 20m in length, 8m in width and 1m in depth is situated immediately north of the brook. A further series of parallel boundaries run from the opposite side of the hollow way to a trackway 90m to the south, the western half of which survives as a shallow east-west linear depression approximately 10m in width and up to 160m in length. Within the areas between the field boundaries either side of the hollow way are a number of rectangular house platforms and small embanked enclosures or tofts and crofts. The enclosures represent areas of cultivation associated with the dwellings in the form of gardens, smallholdings and paddocks. The northern- most of the two hollow ways begins in a broad depression 30m south of the church which narrows to 12m and runs southwards for 30m before turning sharply west and continuing for a further 130m. A pond approximately 20m in length, 8m in width and 1.8m in depth adjoins the north western end of the hollow way. A second pond a maximum of 30m in length is situated 50m north of the hollow way. An area of medieval cultivation in the form of ridge and furrow measuring approximately 180m by 80m adjoins the southern side of the hollow way and is enclosed at its eastern end by a north-south ditch approximately 70m in length and 4m in width. A further area of ridge and furrow cultivation is situated immediately north of the western end of the hollow way. A third, more extensive area of ridge and furrow cultivation approximately 150m by 320m adjoins the southern trackway, and is divided by a series of north-south baulks or headlands. These areas are the remains of the village's fields, and are therefore included in the scheduling. Carlton Curlieu was listed as Carlintone in the Domesday survey of 1086, its two lordships being held by Hugh de Grentesmainell and under the manor of Bowden. Hugh de Grentesmainell subsequently gave the church and five virgates of land to the abbot and convent of St Ebrulf in Normandy. The lordship then passed to the Curli family, but with the death of the last male heir, Robert de Curli in 1274, was split between his daughters Joan de Hastings and Alice de Nevill. The second lordship was granted to the priory of Ullescroft in 1356, being bought after the dissolution by the Bales of Saddington, and then in 1654 by Sir Geoffrey Palmer. All fences, walls, feed troughs and concrete posts 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: 30245

Legacy System: RSM


Hartley, R F, (1983)
Holyoak, V, (1997)
Title: A Plan of the land adjoining the seat of Sir John Palmer Bart. Source Date: 1781 Author: Publisher: Surveyor:

End of official listing