Medieval settlement and open field system immediately north of Old Hall


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1019398

Date first listed: 03-Jul-2000


Ordnance survey map of Medieval settlement and open field system immediately north of Old Hall
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Derbyshire

District: Derbyshire Dales (District Authority)

Parish: Hulland

National Grid Reference: SK 24335 46998


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 West Midland Plateau sub-Province of the Northern and Western Province, which is marked by a series of low plateaux and escarpments, often with rather sandy soils, and great clay vales containing alluvial and gravel terraces. Still well wooded in 1086, the area embraced forests such as Kinver, Feckenham, Cannock and Arden. Compared with the land to the east, the area had significantly lower numbers of nucleations and, with the exception of the Severn valley, carried a mixture of medium to very high densities of dispersed settlement. This included diverse hamlets, common-edge scatters of small farms and cottages, and isolated larger farmsteads, generally moated, many being of medieval foundation. The Upper Trent and Dove local region is marked by varied terrain. The alluvial tracts and terraces of the Trent and Dove mask a core clay lowland, with Needwood Forest forming the watershed, while to the north and south are the rising lands of Cannock Chase and the southern Pennines. It has low densities of nucleated settlement, and medium and high densities of dispersed settlement. Placenames indicate much woodland in the early Middle Ages.

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 subdivided into strips (known as lands) which were allocated to individual tenants. The cultivation of these strips with heavy ploughs pulled by oxen-teams produced long, wide ridges and the resultant `ridge and furrow' where it survives is the most obvious physical indication of the open field system. Individual strips or lands were laid out in groups known as furlongs defined by terminal headlands at the plough turning-points and lateral grass baulks. Furlongs were in turn grouped into large open fields. 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. It is usually now covered by the hedges or walls of subsequent field enclosure. The medieval settlement and open field system immediately north of Old Hall are well preserved and retain significant archaeological deposits. The earthworks indicate the layout of the early village and how it fitted within the wider medieval landscape. Taken together with the remains of the open field system and the abandoned areas of the medieval settlement, they will add greatly to our knowledge and understanding of the development and subsequent shrinkage of medieval settlement in the area.


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


The monument includes the earthwork and buried remains of the abandoned areas of Hulland medieval settlement and parts of its open field system. The monument is situated at the north west end of the currently occupied village of Hulland, on a terrace which drops steeply to the south. Hulland Hollow Brook runs north to south through the monument in a narrow, steep sided valley. In the Domesday Book of 1086 it is documented that there were two manors at Hoilant (Hulland) one known as Hulland the other as Hough. The manor of Hulland was valued at 35 shillings and was granted to Godfrey Azelin by William the Conqueror whilst that of Hough was valued at 40 shillings and granted to Henry de Ferrers. The remains of the Hough manorial complex are still visible today on the north bank of Hulland Hollow Brook and survive as a moat, the site of a chapel, fishponds and building platforms. They are the subject of a separate scheduling. Old Hall Farm, which was built in 1692 by John Barrow, is thought to have replaced the moated manorial site although the chantry chapel remained in use until at least 1712. The location of Hulland manor is not documented. The monument survives as a series of well preserved earthworks which lie between Fullwood Farm and The Green on the north side of the modern A517 road. The remains of dwellings and associated buildings lie in the eastern half of the monument where a series of earth covered banks, up to 1m in height, delineate a group of rectangular platforms. Two of the platforms are adjacent to the modern road but the remainder lie side by side at right angles to the road along the eastern edge of a sunken track. The platforms are interpreted as the site of medieval buildings with the banks representing the buried remains of walls. The sunken track is aligned roughly north to south and is terraced into the valley side with the ground dropping quite steeply on the western side towards Hulland Hollow Brook. At its southern end the track intersects with a second sunken track which curves off to the east. The alignment of this track suggests it was originally a continuation of the street which runs through the currently occupied areas of Hulland village. Three enclosures which are aligned north to south lie to the east of the building platforms and abut the eastern edge of the protected area but are set back from the modern road. The use of a field gate and modern field track which are situated adjacent to the property known as The Green, has caused some degradation of the earthworks in this area. As a result, the southern boundaries of the three enclosures are difficult to determine but they are interpreted as crofts or small enclosures lying behind the medieval houses. The remains of part of the medieval open field system lie in the western half of the monument where the surviving remains are visible as parts of at least two furlongs (groups of lands or cultivation strips) marked by headlands. The cultivation strips collectively form ridge and furrow which survive to a height of approximately 0.3m. In the field immediately east of Fullwood Farm, and situated in the north west corner of the protected area, is a large sub-rectangular enclosure which is defined on two sides by a ditch approximately 8m wide and 1m deep. The enclosure measures approximately 25m by 28m but the northern side of the ditch has been obscured by a field boundary and drainage ditch and the western side by Fullwood Farm and its associated buildings. The ground surface inside the enclosure is higher than that outside the ditch and displays slight earthworks in the form of banks and ditches. It is possible that the earthworks represent the buried remains of building platforms but the precise layout of these earthworks is difficult to determine on the ground. The eastern arm of the enclosure ditch continues to the south for approximately 36m beyond the enclosure before turning to the west for approximately 30m where it is truncated by the modern farm track. This serves to create a second sub rectangular enclosure which again displays archaeological features in the form of earthworks on its internal surface. It is suggested that the ditched enclosures represent the site of Hulland Manor, which, from its hill top location would have provided a formidable position from which the lord of the manor could exert his authority over the tenants of the medieval settlement. Modern field drainage systems have been laid within the area of the monument and have caused some degradation of the earthworks but these are generally easy to locate and clearly distinguished from the archaeological features. A number of drain covers are visible in the field to the west of the Hulland Hollow Brook with one lying in the ditch surrounding the enclosures. All modern fencing, gates, drain covers and the bridge over Hulland Hollow Brook 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: 29960

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Page, W, The Victoria History of the County of Derbyshire: Volume II, (1907)
Project report 458.1, Badcock, A, Archaeological Desk -Based Assessment of land at Fullwood Farm, (1998)
Schedule Entry Nat. Mon. No. 13290, Hulland Old Hall moat, enclosure, chapel site and four fishponds, (1992)

End of official listing