Great Wolford Medieval Settlement

Description of this historic site

The extent of Medieval Settlement at Great Wolford as suggested by documentary evidence.

Notes about this historic site

1 The possible area of the medieval settlement, based on the first edition 6″ maps of 1884, 56NE and 56SE.
2 There are 5 entries in Domesday under ‘Wolford’. The Phillimore edition gives a grid ref. of 2434 which tallies with Great Wolford, rather than Little Wolford.
Ref 4,4 (Land of the Bishop of Bayeux) in Wolford 1 1/2 hides. Wadard holds from him and Gerald under him. Aelfric held it; he was a free man. Land for 1 plough. 3 villagers with 1/2 plough. Meadow 6 acres. The value was 10s; now 20s.
Ref 16,66 The Count (of Meulan) himself holds 4 1/2 hides in Wolford. Ralph holds from him. Land for 4 ploughs. In lordship 1; 2 slaves; 3 villagers and 5 smallholders with 1 plough. The value was 30s; now 40s. Aelfric held it freely before 1066.
Ref 22,2 Robert (of Stafford) also holds in Wolford 7 hides. Land for 10 ploughs. In lordship (.. ploughs); 4 slaves; 8 villagers and 8 smallholders with a priest have 6 ploughs. A mill at 20d. The value was 20s now 100s. Waga held it freely.
Ref 22,13 (Land of Henry of Ferrers) Ordwy holds 2 hides in Wolford. Land for 6 ploughs. In lordship 2; 4 vilagers and 4 smallholders with 1 plough. Value 50s. Alfwy held it freely
Ref 22,14 (Land of Henry of Ferrers) Alwin holds 2 hides in the same village. Land for 2 ploughs. In lordship 1, with 1 slave. 4 villagers and 3 smallholders with 1 plough. The value was 20s; now 30s. Alwin held it freely.
3 The 1884 maps show a village with lots of gaps and spaces filled with gardens and orchards. The earthworks create a clear boundary on the east, and to the south a line enclosing the village lies parallel to a field that looks like ridge and furrow, -( this parish has yet to be plotted for ridge and furrow). The boundaries to the north and west are a bit more problematic. The known medieval shrunken settlement is in the eastern part [WA 5448] and SAM 114. The original church [WA 3822] was first recorded in the C12th. Domesday suggests a profitable village.
4 Earthworks to the east of Great Woolford visible on aerial photographs were mapped as part of the English Heritage National Mapping Project. The mapping included a network of drains that occupy the area between the village edge and Nethercote Bridge. Included in the area is a 35mx15m rectangular eathwork with internal divisions that appears to be the remains of a building within a eathwork enclosure.The function of the ditches is not certain beyond the obvious need for drainage to take water away from the village.
5 No medieval features were found during archaeological work to the rear of Lower farm.

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