Deserted Medieval Settlement 300m SE of Priors Hardwick Church

Description of this historic site

The site of a Medieval deserted settlement. It is first recorded as one of 24 vills granted to Earl Leofric to found a monastery at Coventry. The village was in decline in the 16th century. The site is located 300m south of the church at Priors Hardwick.

Notes about this historic site

Earthworks indicating an area of Medieval settlement. Possible evidence for a moated site (PRN 6206) and fishponds (PRN 6207).

1 In the centre of Priors Hardwick village is a large field called Farm Close or Church Close. Here is a deserted village nucleus in which a rectilinear network of lanes is bounded on the E by a well-marked boundary ditch. A particularly large moated (?) earthwork near the church could have been the manor house (PRN 6206). To the S, at the top of the hill, are fishponds (PRN 6207).
3 Various air photographs.
4 A settlement is first recorded as one of 24 vills granted to Earl Leofric to found a monastery at Coventry, the grant was confrimed by Edward the Confessor in 1024. By the time of the Domesday Survey the settlement amounted to 15 hides among the Priory estates. The population of the village was falling during th 16th century and it is believed that desertion, in favour of sheep pastures, soon followed. the present village contains buildings largely of the 18th century and results from later regrowth of the settlement on a different alignment. The earthwork remains represent a series of regular tofts and crofts defined by banks and ditches forming enclosures including some subdivided plots that also contain house platforms.
5 Scheduling information 1999.
6 Correspondence from 1991 about protection from development.
7 Plan of the areas of concern expressed in 6.

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