Burton Shrunken Medieval Settlement

Description of this historic site

The site of the Medieval shrunken village of Burton. The remains of the village survive as earthworks, some of which have been excavated. The site lies to the west of the church at Burton Dassett.

Notes about this historic site

1 The village used to surround the church near the summit of the hill, where there is now only a farm and vicarage. The main village is now at Northend. Information exists for the depopulation of the Burton Dassett settlements by Sir William Belknap between 1499 and 1549. It is also probable that at an earlier date still there were two settlements in this parish, one near the burh on the hill, and the other near the stone chapel at Little Dassett, the original Dassett (see PRN 660).
2 Examination of air cover and ground perambulation showed no earthworks indicative of desertion in the immediate vicinity of the church.
3 The church is surrounded by about 15 ha of earthworks indicating a vanished settlement. This may also represent a pre-conquest site (MWA6190).
4 Earthworks were excavated to the S of the church in advance of an extension to the churchyard in 1973. An area of about 250 square metres was stripped but only the latest levels examined. A stone wall running approximately N-S seemed to be a boundary wall of a croft, flanked to the S by a drainage ditch, with a crude causeway of stones across it. A tumble of stone indicated that a more substantial structure lay outside the area of the excavation to the S. To the E of the wall were possible traces of a hearth. Pottery ranged from 11th to 13th century, with some Romano-British pottery (MWA6139).
5 Excavation interim.
6 Excavation interim.
7 Air photograph.
8 Excavations following the renewal of water mains revealed a series of 13th-15th century buildings, on the north fringe of Burton Dassett.
9 Market charter granted for Friday Market 16 Jun 1267 by Henry III to Bartholomew de Suthleg. To be held at Manor. Fair Charter (vigil feast morrow) for James (25th July) granted 16 Jun 1267 by Henry III to Batholomew de Suthleg.
10 Historical information about the parish.
11 Lists of details of estates.
12 Copies of documents.
13 Archaeomagnetic dating during the excavation 1986 and 1987 of a series of iron hearths that were uncovered.

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