Medieval settlement at Mill Ford Farm


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1021087

Date first listed: 16-Apr-1999

Date of most recent amendment: 08-Sep-2003


Ordnance survey map of Medieval settlement at Mill Ford Farm
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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: Coughton

National Grid Reference: SP 08975 59971


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. The West Midland Plateau local region comprises low plateaux surrounding the shallow basin of the Tame valley. It is dominated by dispersed settlements present in high and very high densities. Its ancient forest landscapes, with their intricate mosaics of old enclosed fields and woodland blocks, have usually been considered the result of medieval colonisation, but must also contain more ancient elements.

The medieval settlement remains at Mill Ford Farm survive well and will preserve evidence about individual homesteads, their dates and methods of construction and occupation, including details of their development over time. The crofts will provide evidence for the use of the private areas of land for gardening and stock raising by individual tenants, whilst the great fields and greens of the settlement will provide evidence for the activities undertaken in common land and public spaces. The survival of documentary records illuminate the history, and allow a fuller understanding of the organisation and development of the village.

The position of the settlement at Mill Ford Farm south east of the manor and settlement at Coughton Court (the subject of a separate scheduling), will provide evidence of the interaction of their populations, including the use of communal facilities such as mills, manor courts and the church, which they will have regularly attended.


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


The monument includes the buried and earthwork remains of a medieval village and its associated hollow ways, field boundaries, enclosures and the medieval ridge and furrow cultivation remains at Mill Ford Farm, Coughton. The medieval settlement formed part of a spread of settlement within the parish which took the form of hamlets, lying to the south west and south east of the manor house and church and located on the edge of the medieval Royal Forest of Arden, on an acknowledged route through the forest. The manor at Coughton Court and its associated settlement, churchyard, mills, dovecotes and fisheries are the subject of a separate scheduling.

The settlement at Mill Ford Farm developed along Coughton Lane to the south east of the ford over the River Arrow and close to the road which ran from the ford to Warwick. Homestead enclosures (or tofts) are indicated by a series of irregular building platforms aligned parallel to Coughton Lane in a north to south direction. The tofts included domestic dwellings as well as outbuildings and animal sheds. Six houses stood on the site in 1695, representing the final phase of occupation. Four of these had been demolished by 1746.

The boundary ditches of six regular crofts (or allotments) each approximately 15m to 20m in width and measuring up to 1m deep and 1m to 2m wide, survive to the east of the house sites. These enclosures were used for the cultivation of vegetables and fruit for the use of the families and may have also included stock pens for animals such as pigs or poultry. The rear boundary of the crofts survive well and suggest that they were all approximately 50m long, although several appear to have been extended at a later date, enclosing an additional area of what was originally part of the medieval ridge and furrow cultivation.

To the east of the settlement are further ridge and furrow cultivation remains. These are the remnants of the open arable fields belonging to Coughton in the medieval period. The majority of these have been removed by modern ploughing, but a sample of that which survives close to the settlement site is included in the scheduling.

The buildings at Mill Ford Farm, including Mill Ford House which is a Listed Building Grade II, all modern paths, surfaces and fences are all 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. It includes a 2 metre boundary around the archaeological features, considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number: 30036

Legacy System: RSM


Hooke, D, Unpublished notes including full survey, 1997,

End of official listing