Parts of Johnby medieval village 285m and 540m north west of Johnby Hall


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1021145

Date first listed: 12-Nov-2003


Ordnance survey map of Parts of Johnby medieval village 285m and 540m north west of Johnby Hall
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Cumbria

District: Eden (District Authority)

Parish: Greystoke

National Grid Reference: NY 43092 33189, NY 43255 33000


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 Cumbria-Solway sub-Province of the Northern and Western Province, an area characterised by dispersed hamlets and farmsteads, but with some larger nucleated settlements in well-defined agriculturally favoured areas, established after the Norman Conquest. Traces of seasonal settlements, or shielings, dominate the high, wet and windy uplands, where surrounding communities grazed their livestock during the summer months. The Eden Valley local region is a rich agricultural lowland ringed by mountain pastures. It is densely settled with small market towns, villages, hamlets and isolated farmsteads. Medieval castles and monasteries, a multitude of earthwork sites and the distinctive mix of Celtic, Scottish, English, Scandinavian and Norman place-names all testify to the ancient and long sustained occupation of this important region.

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 where 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 included 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 northern and western province of England medieval villages occurred infrequently amid areas of otherwise dispersed medieval settlement and good examples are therefore proportionally infrequent. Thus their archaeological remains are one of the most important sources for understanding rural life in the five centuries or more following the Norman Conquest.

Despite being partly overlain by post-medieval building, a substantial proportion of the earthworks of Johnby medieval village survives well. It is a good example of this class of monument in the Eden Valley local region and will add greatly to our understanding of the wider settlement and economy during the medieval period.


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


The monument, which is divided into two separate areas of protection, includes the earthworks and buried remains of parts of Johnby medieval village located 285m and 540m north west of Johnby Hall.

Although the date of the first settlement at Johnby is unknown the village is unlikely to have pre-dated the late 11th century Norman conquest of the region. Documentary sources indicate that the Manor of Johnby was owned by the family of de Joneby, Jonby or Jonnebi from the days of King John's reign (1199-1216), and possibly earlier, and was held of the Barony of Greystoke. In 1300 the manor was sold to John Mauleverer and by 1326 had passed to the de Aubeneye family. During the 14th and 15th centuries the manor passed by marriage firstly to the de Vetripont family, then to the de Stapilton family, and latterly to the Musgraves with whom it remained until sold in about 1650. The village remains in occupation today and the protected area include those parts of the medieval village which were abandoned but are still identifiable as having formed part of it.

The plan of the medieval village of Johnby is of a type familiar to this part of Cumbria in which two parallel lines of tofts or houses with crofts or garden areas to the rear, face onto a village green or street. Where not covered by post-medieval buildings the well-preserved earthwork remains of the medieval village consist of abandoned tofts, that is house plots, and associated earthwork enclosures or crofts which pre-date the existing post-medieval field system.

On the south west side of the main street, in the field centred at NY43253300, there are stone building foundations and earthwork building platforms to the rear and north west of the modern buildings, together with the well-defined remains of an enclosure or croft situated towards the north west corner of the field, and possible traces of another enclosure in the southern part of this field. At NY43093318, just to the south east of a field barn, there are the stone foundations of two small rectangular buildings which are interpreted as having formed part of the medieval village.

A field barn, a cable supporting a telegraph pole and all modern walls, fences and gateposts 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: 35018

Legacy System: RSM


AP No's CCC3007,27-32; CCC2464,17-19, Cumbria County Council, Johnby, (1980)
SMR No. 6764, Cumbria County Council, Hazard Area For Johnby Medieval Village, (1989)

End of official listing