The characteristics of the layout of town of Atherstone can be traced from the Medieval period through to the present day. Although changes were made in later times, the Medieval layout of the town has not altered fundamentally.
1 Atherstone appears to have been a planned town with regular burgage apportionments. It consisted of Long St, halfway along the north east side of which was the Market Place and behind that, the church. Behind the houses on the Long St fronted the burgage plots ran straight back. On either side of the street a back lane ran along the rear of the burgage properties. Post-medieval – the burgage plots were built up with rows of one or two roomed cottages – probably originally of one storey. These formed the ‘yards’. Imperial – Many of the terraced houses seem to have been rebuilt, but the basic layout of two rows of terrace houses running down the sides of each burgage plot, remained the same. 1960’s – nearly all the yards have been removed and large open spaces created behind Long Street, thus obliterating the last traces of the medieval burgage plots.
2 The layout was still in existence in 1716. On either side of the street a back lane ran along the rear of the Burgage properties.
3 The layout of Atherstone was designed to meet the needs of medieval peasants, and despite all changes in land-use has not altered fundamentally since, leaving it a typical “manorial” “street” town.
4 SMR card missing, November 2005.