Alcester Medieval Settlement

Description of this historic site

The possible extent of the medieval settlement at Alcester based on the Ordnance Survey map of 1886, and on archaeological reports.

Notes about this historic site

1 The possible extent of the medieval settlement based on the OS maps of 1886, 37SW and 43NW.
2 Alcester is not listed in Domesday.
3 The 1886 maps show a concentrated and very defined town with clear narrow plots, back gardens and back lanes radiating out from the central area of St Nicholas Church. It must have been subject to early planning. There are also records for medieval activity and structures south of Swan Street and the Stratford Road; these areas may have developed later as population overflow.
4 Two residual sherds of 12th/13th century pottery were recovered during archaeological observation to the rear of Arrow House, Church Street, Alcester (SP0913 5743). No features of this date were recorded, however, it is possible that a quantity of topsoil imported to the site during the 1930s may have sealed archaeological levels below the area examined.
5 Medieval market and fair. Market first recorded 1238, day of the market not specified at this time. In c.1274, Walter de Beauchamp granted his free burgesses and tenants [of Alcester] the right to hold a Tues market, ‘as in ancient time’. Right to the market confirmed in 1617. Market fell into disuse in the late nineteenth century. Apparently a second market day was later added on a Thurs; gr c.1274, by Walter de Beauchamp to his free burgesses and tenants [of Alcester] though there is no further evidence for the market. A fair to be heldon Giles (1 Sept) was granted 18 Jul 1292, by K Edw I to Walter de Bello Campo. To be held at the manor. On 18 Jul 1302, K Edw I granted Walter de Bello Campo a fair at his manor on vfm+5 of Faith (6 Oct) in lieu. On 18 Nov 1446, it was said that John Beauchamp of Poywyk, kn, and his ancestors had had a fair on the Sun after Faith from time immemorial. Right to the fair was confirmed in 1617. Another fair on vf+6, Barnabas (11 Jun) was granted 10 May 1320, by K Edw II to Walter de Bello Campo. To be held at the manor. This fair was not mentioned amongst the liberties of John Beauchamp of Poywyk, kn, and the town of Alcester on 18 Nov 1446. Another fair to be held v+2, Dunstan (19 May) was granted 18 Nov 1446, by K Hen VI to John Beauchamp of Poywyk, kn. To be held in the town. Right to the fair confirmed in 1617.
6 Some medieval features were recorded during observation at 12 Bleachfield Street.
7 2 pits/postholes of c.17th-century date were recorded during evaluation at 9 Church Street. No medieval features were recorded.
8 Portable Antiquities Scheme find provenance information:
Date found: 2005-09-06T23:00:00Z
Date found (2): 2005-10-06T23:00:00Z
Methods of discovery: Metal detector

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