Atherstone Medieval Settlement

Description of this historic site

The probable extent of the medieval settlement based on the first edition 6" Ordnance Survey map of 1886.

Notes about this historic site

1 The probable extent of the medieval settlement based on the 1st edition OS 6″ map of 1888, 6SE.
2 Atherstone is listed in Domesday. It was in Coleshill Hundred. The Phillimore edition has a grid reference of 3097.
Ref 15,2 The Countess (Godiva) held 3 hides. Land for 5 ploughs. 11 villagers, 2 smallholders and 1 slave with 4 ploughs. Meadow 6 acres; woodland 2 leagues long and 2 leagues wide. The value was 40s; now 60s.
3 The 1888 map shows dense settlement of strip plots and gardens each side of Long Street. The loop made by South Street on the southeastern side encloses little plots and gardens that may be post medieval.
4 In Domesday, Atherstone is listed as belonging to the parish of Mancetter and had no church of its own – indicating it was a relatively minor settlement. It passed from Countess Godiva to the Earl of Chester. It was then granted by Hugh, Earl of Chester, to the Abbey of Bec, in Bec-Hellouin, Normandy. In 1246, Henry III granted the Abbey of Bec a weekly market in their manor of Atherstone every Tuesday. A market place and properties for rental by traders was laid out, leading to the development of the whole new town of Atherstone. The 1716 plan of Atherstone by Robert Hewitt shows the market place and, along either side of Long Street, a series of the long thin plots that were typical of medieval town planning. Many of these properties survive in the modern town plan. The market flourished in the 13th and 14th centuries and into the later middle ages.
5 An undated pit, 3m deep, was recorded during observation at 128 Long Street. Timbers recorded from this pit had mortice and tenon joints and were probably no later than 18th century in date.
6 Two undated pits were recorded to the rear of The Three Tuns public house, Long Street. They were possibly medieval, representing low-level backyard activity at the rear of a burgage plot.
7 Medieval features were excavated and 19th century tenement yard houses.

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