Medieval settlement immediately north and 170m south of St John the Baptist's Church, Lower Shuckburgh


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1020787

Date first listed: 28-Jan-2003


Ordnance survey map of Medieval settlement immediately north and 170m south of St John the Baptist's Church, Lower Shuckburgh
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Warwickshire

District: Stratford-on-Avon (District Authority)

Parish: Upper and Lower Shuckburgh

National Grid Reference: SP 48853 62696, SP 48995 62512


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 Inner Midlands sub-Province of the Central Province, an area characterised by large numbers of nucleated settlements, both surviving and deserted, many of which are thought to have been established in Anglo-Saxon times. Most of the sub-Province's thinly scattered dispersed settlements were created in post-medieval times, but some of the local regions are characterised by higher proportions of dispersed dwellings and hamlets, which probably mark the patchy survival of older landscapes.

The medieval settlement of Lower Shuckburgh immediately north and south of St John the Baptist's Church and the remains of its open field system survive as a series of well-preserved earthworks and associated buried deposits. The remains of house plots will preserve valuable evidence for domestic and economic activity on the site through both the medieval and post-medieval periods, giving insight into the lifestyle of the inhabitants. The association of the village remains with those of its open fields provides evidence for the economy of the settlement and its place in the wider medieval landscape. Waterlogging in parts of the site will preserve organic remains such as artefacts made from wood, cloth and leather. Preservation of plant remains will also provide valuable information about the natural environment and climate at the time the village was occupied, as well as for horticultural and agricultural activity in the area. These will contribute to our understanding of the way in which medieval settlements functioned as components of a wider social and economic landscape. The settlement at Lower Shuckburgh is well-documented, adding to our understanding of its development. The association with the remains of the medieval settlement at Upper Shuckburgh will help us to understand the dynamics of settlement formation, and survival or desertion within a particular parish.


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


The monument includes the earthwork and buried remains of the medieval settlement of Lower Shuckburgh, which is within two separate areas of protection. The settlement is located upon either side of the main A425 Southam road. Lower Shuckburgh is situated upon the north facing lower slopes of a rolling upland wold landscape, on fertile soil and close to a number of springs. It is associated with the remains of the medieval settlement at Upper Shuckburgh, 1.4km to the south east, which is the subject of a separate scheduling. The settlement is first recorded in the Domesday survey together with the adjacent settlement of Upper Shuckburgh. By the 13th century the hundred rolls identified 31 households in the settlement. However, these had dropped to only five by the 1330s, and in 1564 the settlement was so small that it was assessed with two other neighbouring villages. The settlement survived, but underwent several phases of depopulation and reorganisation. It began its recovery during the mid-17th century, and by 1664 there were 31 houses, and 39 by 1730. The census of 1801 records that the population of Lower Shuckburgh had recovered to 144 people, whilst that of Upper Shuckburgh was only 28, being largely employees of the great house. It is believed that the revival of the fortunes of Lower Shuckburgh was linked to the final depopulation of nearby Upper Shuckburgh when it was emparked during the 17th century. Also, during the 18th and 19th centuries, the north Oxford Canal and main turnpike roads cut through Lower Shuckburgh attracting development, including a busy private wharf. Canal stables, an office and a weighbridge relating to the wharf survive to the west. These are not included in the scheduling. The first area of protection lies in a roughly triangular plot of land between the A425 and the Oxford Canal, adjacent to the Church of St John the Baptist. The shallow earthworks of at least eight irregular platforms, defined by slight ditches set out along two deeper hollow ways and arranged in an irregular grid system, lie in the field immediately to the north and east of the churchyard. To the west of the churchyard are the remains of a pond, which remains waterlogged, and several further large irregular platforms defined by deep ditches. A hollow way crosses the settlement from north to south, deviating around the west side of the churchyard, forming part of a modern footpath. Parallel with this, stone edgings to a former path can be seen in situ below the turf on the edge of a large platform. The platforms are believed to include the remains of buildings and allotments. Their layout suggests a number of small regular dwelling plots to the east of the church, with one or two larger irregular groups of buildings such as farmsteads to the west, possibly relating to two or more phases of development of the settlement. The second area of protection lies to the south of the A425 and the church and immediately east of Glebe Farm. Here the land slopes gently to the north and east and is defined on the east by a stream. A number of irregular depressions along the stream are the remains of medieval ponds used for stock watering and animal dipping. A wide shallow hollow way runs parallel with the stream, midway along the field, forming the main street of the settlement. Three further narrow hollow ways run east at right angles from the main street to the stream. Measuring between 0.5m and 1m deep and between 2m to 3m wide these hollow ways define a series of platforms, arranged along the course of the stream. The platforms vary from 14m to 45m wide, and are believed to be garden enclosures sloping up from the stream, with buildings indicated by disturbed ground, located at the western ends adjacent to the main street. The ground rises more steeply to the west of the street and includes a number of depressions and terraced platforms believed to be the sites of further buildings. Immediately adjacent to Glebe Farm and the A425 is a large flattened area with a single irregular platform at its southern edge. This is believed to represent a single, possibly later holding, as it disrupts the more regular settlement pattern aligned along the stream, and cuts off the route of the main street. A sample of the medieval ridge and furrow cultivation remains are included in the scheduling. All modern post and wire fences, telegraph poles and animal feed troughs 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: 35102

Legacy System: RSM

End of official listing