Medieval settlement and part of the open field system immediately south of Myddleton Lodge


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1020716

Date first listed: 24-Jul-2002


Ordnance survey map of Medieval settlement and part of the open field system immediately south of Myddleton Lodge
© Crown Copyright and database right 2019. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2019. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
Use of this data is subject to Terms and Conditions.

The above map is for quick reference purposes only and may not be to scale. For a copy of the full scale map, please see the attached PDF - 1020716 .pdf

The PDF will be generated from our live systems and may take a few minutes to download depending on how busy our servers are. We apologise for this delay.

This copy shows the entry on 23-Jan-2019 at 13:43:44.


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

District: Bradford (Metropolitan Authority)

Parish: Ilkley

National Grid Reference: SE 10996 48853


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 past 1500 years or more. This monument lies in the Lancashire Lowlands sub-Province of the Northern and Western Province, an area extending from the moorlands of the western Pennines to the coastal plain with its villages and hamlets. The southern part of the sub-Province supports high densities of dispersed settlements, but there are much lower densities further north, in the Craven Lowlands, the Ribble Valley and the areas around Morecambe Bay. In the Middle Ages the larger, lowland settlements were supported by `core' arable lands, communally cultivated, with enclosed fields around them. The uplands contained sheep and cattle farms and seasonally occupied `shieling' settlements. The Craven Lowlands local region is drained both eastwards and westwards by the Aire and Ribble valleys. Now densely settled with small towns, villages, hamlets and scattered farmsteads, it had a similarly mixed pattern of settlement in the Middle Ages, as evidenced by the earthworks of isolated halls, single farmsteads, hamlets and deserted 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 Scalewra medieval settlement immediately south of Myddleton Lodge retain significant archaeological remains. The earthworks and aerial photographic records indicate the layout of the settlement. As a whole, the medieval settlement of Scalewra will add 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 Scalewra medieval settlement and part of the associated open field system. The monument is situated immediately south of Myddleton Lodge on a steep south facing slope rising from 100m to 150m above sea level. Scalewra is located within the medieval parish of Ilkley. The ecclesiastical parish was made up of three townships, Ilkley, Middleton and Nesfield each of which had subsidiary scattered settlements around the central village. Scalewra belonged to the Middleton township, which is first mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086 when it is recorded as a berewick of the Archbishop of York's Otley estate. By the middle of the 12th century it was held by Hypollitus de Braham, an ancestor of the Middleton Family which continued to hold the manor until late in the 19th century. Middleton village still exists but has been greatly reduced in size, even since the making of the Tithe Map in 1846. Documentary evidence indicates that Scalewra still existed in 1456 but had split into two parts known as Overscallwray and Nedirscallewray. Documents record that in 1490 Anne Middleton received in dower `all their messuage of Scalewray' and a Middleton marriage settlement of 1587 includes Scaweray, alias Scalwerey'. Scalewra had certainly disappeared by the time the Tithe Map and early Ordnance Survey maps were made. It is unclear exactly when Scalewra was abandoned but it is likely that the settlement was depopulated by the late 15th century as a result of emparking. Myddleton Lodge, the former home of the Middleton family was built in the 16th century and is situated immediately north of the monument. It is likely that any remaining buildings would have been removed when the lodge was built. The monument survives as a series of earthwork and buried remains. Running east to west along the northern edge of the monument is a series of sub-rectangular enclosures marked by low banks. The banks survive to a height of approximately 0.3m. The enclosures are interpreted as medieval building platforms with the low banks representing buried walls. Some parts of the building platforms have been degraded through the construction of field drainage and sewage pipes. This makes it difficult to determine the exact layout of the earthworks on the ground surface but aerial photographs show the overall pattern survives. The buildings would have been approached from the south by a terraced track which runs from east to west across the monument. This is most clearly defined at its eastern end where the trackway opens up to form a junction with Langbar Road. Abutting the south side of the trackway and the southern edge of parts of the area occupied by building platforms are the remains of part of the medieval open field system. These are visible as part of several furlongs (groups of lands or cultivation strips) marked by headlands. The cultivation strips collectively form ridge and furrow and survive to a height of approximately 0.4m. The ridge and furrow run from north to south following the natural slope of the ground and the natural drainage pattern. All modern fences and walls 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: 29998

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Long, M, 'Yorkshire Archaeological Society news' in The Lost Hamlet of Scalwra, , Vol. news L13, (1984), 11-13
earthwork and geophys survey, WYAS, Myddleton Lodge Ilkley West Yorkshire, (2000)
WY 118/26 SE109489 44 1408 99 24/10/3, Middleton, (1983)

End of official listing