Compton Verney Deserted Medieval Settlement

Description of this historic site

The site of deserted settlement at Compton Verney which dates to the Medieval period. The village is known from documentary evidence. Fragments of building stone and pottery have also been recovered from the site.

Notes about this historic site

1 Deserted village centred roughly on SP3153. Rous describes it as reduced from 22 to two families. Dugdale did not know when it was depopulated, but Compton Verney House was first built in 1450. It is probable that the village was supplanted by the house. An engraved view in Dugdale shows ‘elmes in the town’ and their site is still pitted and abundantly covered with nettles. A court roll of 1400 shows the village still inhabited, but with a number of vacant holdings.
2 Old Town field is centred SP3152, it is arable and dotted with the stumps of old elm trees. There are no surface indications of a former village. The field on the opposite side of the pool centred SP3153 is permanent parkland. Some disturbance is evident, but not surveyable.
3 Archaeology poor (C), excellent documentary evidence, with period of desertion known (1*).
4 C Dyer, with students of the University of Birmingham, has located the site of Compton Verney (formerly Compton Murdak) deserted village (SP3152 to SP3153). A large scatter of building stone and pottery occurs on ploughed fields, the pottery dating mainly from the 13th-15th century.
5 C Dyer has confirmed the location of the finds mentioned in 4 as being to the east of the lake as recorded on the overlay.
6 Part of this site has now been evaluated and the existence of Medieval settlement remains has been established (see MWA 6400).
7 Report places the Deserted Medieval Village in its regional, historical and archaeological context. The quality of documentary evidence for the process of desertion suggests the site has great potential for further research.
8 Letter from C. Dyer in 1992 reporting an absence of finds on the NW side of the lake.
9 A stone wall was recorded during Phase 2 of refurbishment at Compton Verney, in a service trench to the southeast of the house, and south of the lake. Although no dating evidence was found, it is likely that it would have belonged to a medieval building within the village of Compton Murdak.

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