Newbold medieval settlement and part of the open field system, 330m north east of Manor Farm


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1019634

Date first listed: 09-Mar-2001


Ordnance survey map of Newbold medieval settlement and part of the open field system, 330m north east of Manor Farm
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Nottinghamshire

District: Rushcliffe (District Authority)

Parish: Kinoulton

National Grid Reference: SK 68273 31292, SK 68392 31400, SK 68540 31556


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 Trent sub-Province of the Central Province, where the broad Trent valley swings in a great arc across midland England. Underlain by heavy clays, it is given variety by superficial glacial and alluvial deposits. Although treated as a single sub-Province, it has many subtle variations. Generally, it is characterised by a great number of villages and hamlets which cluster thickly along scarp-foot and scarp-tail zones, locations suitable for exploiting the contrasting terrains. Throughout the sub-Province there are very low and extremely low densities of dispersed farmsteads, some of which are ancient, but most of which are 18th-century and later movement of farms out of earlier villages.

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 earthwork and buried remains of the abandoned areas of Newbold medieval settlement are well-preserved and retain significant archaeological remains. The earthworks, historical documentation and the aerial photographic records combine to provide a detailed picture of the layout of the settlement. As a whole, the medieval settlement of Newbold will add greatly to our knowledge and understanding of the development and subsequent abandonment of medieval settlement in the area and its position in the wider landscape.


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 Newbold medieval settlement. The monument is situated on a slightly raised terrace on the western side of the valley of the River Smite. The settlement remains lie on the north eastern edge of the existing village of Kinoulton and are now considered part of that village.

Newbold was first mentioned in the Domesday survey of 1086, when it was documented that there were two manors, one owned by the king and the other by William Peverel. Within the king's manor was a priest and a church and enough agricultural land for eight ploughs and two acres of underwood. Within William Peverel's manor there was enough agricultural land for two ploughs and forty acres of meadow. At the time of the survey the total value of the two manors was ten pounds and sixty shillings.

It is unclear when the settlement was abandoned or incorporated into the village of Kinoulton, but it is known that a chapel known as Newbolt Chapel was still in existence in the late 18th century. At this time the chapel was used by parishioners of Kinoulton village following the demise of St Wilfrid's Church, which lies in ruins at the western end of Kinoulton. Saint Wilfrid's Church is the subject of a separate scheduling.

The abandoned areas of Newbold medieval settlement survive as a series of earthworks and buried remains which are defined by three areas of protection, all lying on the north side of Hall Lane. In the area of protection between Ashgate House and Manor Farm a series of three rectangular enclosures or crofts are aligned with, and adjacent to, Hall Lane. These are defined by a number of low banks which survive up to a height of approximately 0.75m. At the northern ends of the crofts the ground rises and is slightly terraced. On the terrace another series of banks define two smaller rectangular features which are interpreted as the remains of medieval buildings, or crofts, with the low banks representing the buried remains of walls. Running along the northern boundary of this area of protection is a wide, narrow gully which is interpreted as a sunken track. This is most clearly evident from an aerial photograph, which also shows that the feature has been partly infilled since the photograph was taken in 1991. At the north eastern end of this area of protection is part of the medieval open field system which is visible as part of one furlong (a group of lands or cultivation strips). The cultivation strips collectively form ridge and furrow which survive to a height of approximately 0.5m.

The remains of the open field system continue into the second area of protection, between Ashgate House and Hall Farm. Here the remains are visible as parts of two furlongs, one at the south western end and the other at the north eastern end of the field. Between the two areas of ridge and furrow and situated towards the northern edge of the field is a large, raised, oval terrace. On the terrace a series of low banks are evident and from aerial photographs it is possible to identify the position of a building platform. Separating the terrace and building platform from the ridge and furrow at the south western end of the field is a wide gully which runs roughly north west to south east across the field. This is interpreted as a sunken track and would presumably have provided access to the open fields originally surrounding the settlement.

The third area of protection, to the north east of Hall Farm, contains a series of tofts which are laid out at right angles to the public footpath. It is understood that the existing Hall Lane originally continued across the fields to Colston Bassett, which lies approximately 2km to the north east of Hall Farm. This line is still marked by a public right of way.

The tofts which measure approximately 30m by 15m are situated on a platform which slopes down steeply towards the public footpath. This suggests the path was originally a sunken track and that the platform has been terraced at some time in the past. Areas of exposed stone on the platform indicate that the buried remains of walls survive beneath the ground surface.

At the north western end of each of the tofts are a series of rectangular building platforms indicating the site of at least four crofts. Approximately 30m north of the crofts is a wide gully which runs south west to north east across the area of protection. This survives to a depth of 0.4m and is interpreted as a sunken track which may originally have linked with the example identified in the area of protection between Ashgate House and Manor Farm. This would have provided a back lane to the settlement. Parts of the gully have been levelled and its full length is difficult to determine on the ground surface and from aerial photographs.

The medieval settlement of Newbold was laid out in a planned design. The tofts and crofts are generally laid out in a linear pattern which respect the line of the existing Hall Lane. Some of the building platforms are, however, set back from Hall Lane and may have been served by a back lane which ran parallel to Hall Lane.

All modern fences, gates and track surfaces are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath these 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: 29984

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Page, W, The Victoria History of the County of Nottinghamshire, (1906), 253+271
Wilkinson, R F , 'Transactions of the Thoroton Society of Nottinghamshire' in The Ruined and Lost Churches of Nottinghamshire, , Vol. XLVI, (1942), 66-72
Held at Notts SMR, 1:10000 4/10/91 140 91 253, (1991)
Title: Nottinghamshire Village Earthwork Survey Source Date: 1995 Author: Publisher: Surveyor: Survey record no.s 264-273

End of official listing