East Anglian Archaeology

Over the last couple of months a few new resources have become available online. This includes the out of print copies of East Anglian Archaeology – published since 1975 covering work across the wider landscape of East Anglia. Below are a few of the works that cover medieval settlement.

EAA 10, 1980: Fieldwork and Excavation on Village sites in Launditch Hundred, by Peter Wade-Martins

This report looks at the fieldwork undertaken over an area of Norfolk which includes over 40 settlements some of which had been deserted. The report includes the excavations at the deserted site at Grenstein. The village appears to be deserted in the fifteenth century. Twenty-six tofts were present at the site and one of these was excavated in 1965-66.

http://eaareports.org.uk/publication/report10/

EAA 14, 1982: Norfolk: Trowse, Horning, Deserted Medieval Villages, Kings Lynn, by B. Cushion, A. Davison, F. Healy, M. Hughes, H. Richmond, E. Rose, P. Wade-Martins et al.

Eight of the best deserted medieval settlements in Norfolk are described. This includes: Pudding Norton, Roudham, Godwick, Waterden, Great Palgrave, Egmere, Bixley, Little Bittering…….

http://eaareports.org.uk/publication/report14/

EAA 44, 1988: Six Deserted Villages in Norfolk, by Alan Davison

A further six villages are considered in this volume following on from the oneabove. Rougham and Beachamwell, are sites with surviving earthworks; Letton and Kilverstone, which had earthworks in 1946 when aerial photographs were taken; and Holkham and Houghton, which disappeared under parkland in the 17th and 18th centuries.

http://eaareports.org.uk/publication/report44/

EAA 46, 1989: The Deserted Medieval Village of Thuxton, Norfolk, by Lawrence Butler and Peter Wade-Martins

Two house sites and the front of a toft were excavated at this good example of a linear village site. Areas of the surrounding parish were also fieldwalked and the site is compared to that at Grenstein mentioned above.

http://eaareports.org.uk/publication/report46/

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Medieval Village Research Group Archive visit 2

At the end of March we managed to go back to the Historic England Archive in Swindon to continue work on the Medieval Village Research Group Archive – see this earlier post for an outline of the archive.

This time we completed  the review of the evidence for deserted sites in the counties that have been completed in full on the website to date. Back last year we had managed to review the counties up to Durham and on this trip it included the sites in Durham, Essex, Gloucestershire and East Riding. This includes checking information on the sites listed on the 1968 Gazetteer and seeing if there is anything else to be added, either from within the box files on each county or written on the individual index cards for each village. Some times these show the debate surrounding including a site on the Gazetteer or over the location. They also record information on damage to sites through the period the archive was active from the 1950s-1980s.

This review of the evidence for these counties has brought to light some new information on a number of sites that will be reviewed in due course, added to the website and reported here. As well as the review of the sites listed on the 1968 Gazetteer, this visit also recorded any new sites that did not make it onto this Gazetteer so that in the future the website can be brought up to date.

As well as the counties that have been completed for the website, we also managed to review counties Hampshire-Kent. Currently the full descriptions for all the villages in Hampshire are being written by the project and should appear in the summer. These counties were viewed to see if extra information was available on any of the settlements and to record settlements not on the 1968 Gazetteer.

As well as reviewing the county evidence, one other task is to look at how the lists of deserted settlements have evolved over time. On a country-wide scale there have been two nationally published lists of deserted settlements – that published in 1954 by Maurice Beresford in his Lost Villages of England, and that published in 1971 in Deserted Medieval Villages – known as the 1968 Gazette and this forms the basis of the current version of our website. But buried within the archive are other lists. Some of these were published as separate county lists within the Annual Reports. In 1977 a new map of deserted settlements was published by the Group – but no Gazetteer accompanied this – although different dated lists of settlements do exist. These are often hand edited earlier lists – for example the list for Gloucestershire is that published in 1965, with hand-added additions and deletions.

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The first page of the 1965 list of deserted villages in Gloucestershire – with hand addition – this acted as the list for this county for the 1977 map. Courtesy of Medieval Settlement Research Group

 

From these lists it should be possible to produce the 1977 Gazetteer – to sit along side the original 1968. In 1977 it was noted that the total of deserted villages had increased to 2813 – we have yet to work out if these lists come to this amount. There is also a final list of deserted settlements per county from when the archive was closed in 1988 – so another Gazetteer should be possible – both of these are a work in progress.

This is just a short report on the work of a few days of work that now needs to be followed by a few weeks of cataloguing and sorting….. Thanks once again to staff at Historic England for supporting access to the archive.