Manorial settlement, dovecote and fragment of field system, immediately north of Marske Inn Farm


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1018948

Date first listed: 19-Jan-1975

Date of most recent amendment: 14-Mar-2000


Ordnance survey map of Manorial settlement, dovecote and fragment of field system, immediately north of Marske Inn Farm
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: Redcar and Cleveland (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Saltburn, Marske and New Marske

National Grid Reference: NZ 63540 21668


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 Cleveland Bench local region is a slightly elevated, undulating lowland skirting the northern and western sides of the North York Moors. Settlement is largely in the form of nucleated villages which were established in the Middle Ages, and which bear traces of their original rectilinear planning. Shrunken and deserted villages are common, now often marked only by an isolated, still occupied, hall.

Medieval manorial settlements, comprising small groups of houses with associated gardens, yards and paddocks, supported communities devoted primarily to agriculture, and acted as the foci for manorial administration. Although the sites of many of these have been occupied continuously down to the present day, many others declined in size or were abandoned at some time during the medieval and post-medieval periods, particularly during the 14th and 15th centuries. The reasons for desertion were varied but often reflected declining economic viability, changes in land-use such as enclosure or emparkment, or population fluctuations as a result of widespread epidemics such as the Black Death. As a consequence of their abandonment, these settlements are frequently undisturbed by later occupation and contain well- preserved archaeological deposits, providing information on the diversity of medieval settlement patterns and farming economy and on the structure and changing fortunes of manorial communities. Dovecotes are specialised structures designed for the breeding and keeping of doves as a source of food and as a symbol of high social status. Most surviving examples were built in the period between the 14th and 17th centuries, although both earlier and later examples are documented. They were generally freestanding structures, square or circular in plan and normally of brick or stone, with nesting boxes built into the internal wall. They were frequently sited at manor houses or monasteries. Whilst a relatively common monument class, most will be considered to be of national interest, although the majority will be listed rather than scheduled. They are also generally regarded as an important component of local distinctiveness and character. A medieval open field system is a collection of unenclosed open arable fields. These large fields were subdivided into strips which were allocated to individual tenants. The cultivation of these strips produced long ridges, and the resultant `ridge and furrow' is the most obvious physical indication of the open field system. Well preserved ridge and furrow, especially in its original context adjacent to settlement earthworks, is both an important source of information about medieval agrarian life and a distinctive contribution to the character of the historic landscape. The manorial settlement immediately north of Marske Inn Farm is well preserved and retains significant archaeological deposits. It is a good example of its type and, taken together with the associated dovecote and fragment of the medieval field system, it will add greatly to our understanding of medieval life and society in this area of Cleveland.


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


The monument includes the remains of a manorial settlement, a dovecote and part of a field system of medieval date, situated on a level site 1.25km from the sea. The settlement and its dovecote were referred to in a document dated 1304 when they belonged to the Fauconberg family. In 1366 the manorial settlement with its dovecote, orchards and gardens was assigned to Isabel, the widow of Walter de Fauconberg. The manorial settlement is visible as a series of earthworks which include the foundations of buildings, enclosures and ponds contained within a rectangular enclosure. The surrounding enclosure has maximum dimensions of 126m east to west by 142m north to south, within banks of stone and earth on average 1m high and spread to a maximum of 8m. At the centre of the complex, at NZ 6356 2161, there are the foundations of a large rectangular or L-shaped timber building, interpreted as the main manor house. This building is about 40m long by 14m wide and is divided into at least two compartments. Immediately to its north there are the remains of two rectangular depressions 30m long and 10m wide flanked by earthen banks 4m wide; these are interpreted as the sites of two fishponds, and a third rectangular depression, 6m wide, situated immediately to their west is also considered to be part of the pond complex. The sites of further depressions, situated south and east of the manor house, one of which remained water filled until relatively recently, are interpreted as further remains of the system of fishponds. To the south of the manor house there are several linear banks on average 0.6m high and 3.5m wide which divide the area into rectangular enclosures interpreted as associated yards, gardens and paddocks. At the south west corner of the site there are several rectangular platforms which are interpreted as the sites of rectangular buildings. Immediately adjacent to the southern wall of the surrounding enclosure, at NZ 6356 2160, there is a raised circular platform 8m in diameter which stands 0.5m high. This is interpreted as the remains of a stone built dovecote known from documents to have existed at the settlement in the 14th century. At the extreme north end of the monument, beyond the north side of the manorial enclosure, there is a fragment of a medieval open field system; this is visible as the end of a medieval furlong or field containing prominent rig and furrow cultivation. The rigs are on average 7m wide and stand to a maximum height of 0.4m. The water trough situated on the east side of the monument and the wooden post at the north side 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: 32746

Legacy System: RSM


NZ62SW 04,

End of official listing