Great house site, garden earthworks and associated remains immediately north, west and south of St Mary's Church


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1020974

Date first listed: 02-Jan-1976

Date of most recent amendment: 12-Nov-2003


Ordnance survey map of Great house site, garden earthworks and associated remains immediately north, west and south of St Mary's Church
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This copy shows the entry on 14-Dec-2018 at 12:32:56.


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

County: Oxfordshire

District: West Oxfordshire (District Authority)

Parish: Salford

National Grid Reference: SP 28590 28064


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

Reasons for Designation

Medieval great houses were the residences of high-status non-Royal households. They had domestic rather than military functions and show little or no sign of fortification, even of a purely cosmetic nature. Great houses share several of the characteristics of royal palaces, and in particular shared similar characteristics of size, sophistication, and decoration of the architecture. Great houses usually consist of a group of buildings, including a great hall, service rooms, one or more kitchens, several suites of chambers for the owners, the household and its guests, and a gatehouse. Other ancillary buildings are known to have been present but very rarely survive. Earlier examples typically comprised a collection of separate buildings, but through the 14th and 15th century there was increasing integration of the buildings into a few larger buildings. By the later medieval period, such complexes were commonly laid out around one or more formal courtyards; in the 16th century this would occasionally be contrived so that the elevations were symmetrical. Many great houses are still notable for the high quality of their architecture and for the opulence of their furnishings. Several examples contain substantially intact buildings, others consist of ruins or complexes of earthworks. Great houses are found throughout England, although there is a concentration in the south and Midlands. Further north, great houses were more heavily fortified, reflecting more unsettled political and social conditions, but their domestic purpose and status were still predominant. Fewer than 250 examples of great houses have been identified. As a rare monument class which provide an important insight into the lives of medieval aristocratic or gentry households, all examples will be nationally important.

The great house and gardens at Salford include all the typical elements of a country house of the 16th and 17th centuries, including planned formal gardens, a large house, gatehouse range and further walled yards and ranges of buildings, which demonstrate an expensive undertaking. In addition, the remains of the water features and the adjacent fields containing ridge and furrow indicate the presence of earlier remains of a medieval manor on the site which was probably altered or demolished during the later work as a result of increasing affluence and changing fashion. Archaeological investigations including geophysical survey and documentary research show that the visible earthworks form part of a well-preserved group of associated remains which will contain important archaeological evidence relating to the history, construction and occupation of the manor site and the economy of the village as a whole.


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


The monument lies on an artificial terraced slope immediately west of the present day village of Salford, looking west across a spring-fed stream at the bottom of a narrow valley. It includes the earthwork and upstanding remains of a late medieval or early post-medieval great house, a contemporary barn, the buried remains of further associated buildings, terraced formal garden earthworks, a fishpond and related water control features and an area of medieval cultivation earthworks (ridge and furrow). The most visually impressive remains are the earthworks of the formal gardens which descend from east to west in three wide terraces each linked by a broad ramp. These gardens cover an area of approximately 120m by 60m, with each terrace roughly equal in size. The base of the slope is marked by a series of leats controlling water supplied by a stream which emanates from springheads located some 600m to the north west. A short section of this stream course is included in the scheduling. The tithe map for Salford depicts the level platform at the top of the slope surmounted by a large north-south aligned house, commanding the view across the gardens. This building no longer stands but its position is marked by a series of depressions and banks which indicate the presence of buried remains. From the map evidence and the results of a modern geophysical survey of the site carried out in October 1997 the house is known to have measured over 40m long and up to 20m in width. Although the exact date of the house's construction is unknown, the layout of the complex depicted on the map is typical of a mansion and formal gardens of the 16th or 17th centuries. Associated with the house, running eastwards from its location towards St Mary's Church (a Listed Building Grade II), lie the buried remains of a series of buildings identified from minor earthworks and geophysical survey. These remains are believed to represent a gatehouse range, which formed the entrance to the manorial complex and separated the formal setting of the mansion from a grouping of dependant farm buildings and fishponds to the north. The main fishpond (now dry) is located some 30m north of the church. It measures up to 40m in width and 50m in length and was formerly fed by a substantial leat which flowed from the springs to the north west. A second, smaller pond lay adjacent to the south east. This however, was largely overlain by a later extension to the churchyard and is not included in the scheduling. The cluster of farm buildings which stood to the north of the gatehouse range, bounded to the north by the water supply to the fishponds, is now mainly known from slight undulations and the patterns of foundations detected by geophysical survey. One building, termed the `Great Barn' on later maps, still stands, although the upper wall courses and the roof have been rebuilt in later periods. Although the agricultural range is clearly associated with the 16th-17th century mansion, it is possible that some of these features are earlier in origin and indicate the presence of an earlier medieval manor which was later remodelled to meet the changing fashion for more comfortable and imposing houses, within more formal designed settings. The fishponds certainly appear to date from an earlier manorial layout. So too the pattern of medieval or post-medieval cultivation earthworks which survive in two fields to the north and east of the mansion's grounds. A sample of the best preserved area of ridge and furrow, including the headland between the field and the manor boundary, is included in the scheduling in order to preserve the archaeological relationship with the mansion site and any buried remains of its medieval precursor. All standing buildings (including the above ground fabric of the great barn) and all fences and modern field boundary walls are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath these features is included, together with the foundations of the great barn. The foundations protrude 15cm above ground in places, but are distinct from the later main wall fabric.

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: 30854

Legacy System: RSM


PRN 5760, SMRO, Salford Manor and gardens, (1993)

End of official listing