Hillborough Deserted Medieval Settlement

Description of this historic site

The site of the deserted settlement of Hillborough which is of Medieval date. House platforms, ridge and furrow cultivation, and house platforms are visible as earthworks. The site is located 100m south of Hillborough Manor.

Notes about this historic site

1 There were thirteen entries in the lay subsidies for this village. A chapel here (PRN 1733) was destroyed in the C16.
2 Medium archaeology (B), no entry under ‘History’.
3 A sketch plan shows a hollow way running S from Hillborough Manor to the river with earthworks leading off from this. Also two possible house platforms to the E of the hollow way.
4 Some considerable time ago some digging was carried out in this field, roughly half way across it, and a ‘stone wall and a lot of stones’ were found. The Director of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, visited this and advised filling it in and this was eventually done. A stone coffin has been found and is now at a farm in Temple Grafton. The principal feature in the field is the long depression. This is quite definite and in places has quite sharp banks on either side. On both sides of this the ground is slightly irregular. The depression running off perpendicular to the long depression is pronounced, but only about 1.8m wide. At the bottom end of the field there is a drop down to a flat water meadow.
6 Enclosures, linear features and ridge and furrow show on aerial photographs.
7 The site appears to consist of the following: A N-S hollow way running from Hillborough Manor and between enclosures; a subrectangular enclosure with a large stone building (?a chapel) inside it (see PRN 1733); further possible buildings; a third cluster of three or more buildings possibly inside an additional enclosure.
8 Although it has probably been ploughed at some time (?1967),clear earthworks still survive. These include the main street and at least one well-preserved house platform.
9 This site was visited in August 1996 after parch marks were observed from the air. One building outline visible as a parch mark seems to be of a building 38-40m long and 5.5m wide. A possible boundary runs westwards at its W end. This building is not oriented in relation to the village earthworks, which suggests it post dates the desertion of the village. Generally, the Hillborough does not conform to the normal DMV pattern. It is possible that at least some features such as the larger buildings may relate to post desertion use of the site (including one possible sheepcote). This site, although smaller than the documentary evidence would suggest, is of greater importance than previously believed. The quality of preservation is good although it is currently under threat from tree planting.
10 Earthwork plan.
11 Field survey undertaken in 1987.
12 Letter from 1958.
13 Correspondence from 1987.
14 Photographs show dovecote in a poor state of repair.
15 Correspondence from 1990.
16 Copies of documents relating to the history of Hillborough.
17Area of survivng earthworks show very clearly on HER lidar layer and include a much larger area than previosuly recorded running west along the track from Hillborough Manor to West Hillborough Farm and 100m beyond.
18 Portable Antiquities Scheme find provenance information:
Date found: 2006-05-07T23:00:00Z
Date found (2): 2006-07-02T23:00:00Z
Methods of discovery: Metal detector

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