Lower Brailes Shrunken Medieval Settlement

Description of this historic site

The site of the Medieval shrunken village of Lower Brailes. The site is visible as an earthwork. It is situated 300m south of the church at Lower Brailes.

Notes about this historic site

1 Brailes was a village whose fields lay open in the traditional Midland pattern until William Brown was granted, in 1485, the offices of bailiff of the lordship and keeper of the warren of Brailes (WA 2313). In 1496 he destroyed a messuage and converted 12 virgates (16 acres each) of arable into pasture, putting 4 ploughs out of use and ejecting 16 persons. The village was reported by the Commission of Inquiry of 1517 and 1518 as having suffered enclosure and depopulation on another occasion before 1517.
3 There is an area of disturbance to the south of Green End Farm which shows up clearly in air photographs and on the ground, house platforms and hollow ways are to be seen. (This may be the depopulated village referred to by Leadam – or it may be the one in Upper Brailes (WA 2359)).
6 Air photograph.
7 Market Charter granted to Brailes for Mondays on 16th August 1248 by Henry III to John de Pleissis, earl of Warwick and his wife Margery. To be held at the manor. Market recorded in 1275. Fair Charter for vigil feast morrow George (23rd April) granted 16th August 1248 by Henry III to John de Plessis, earl of Warwick and his wife Margery. To be held at manor. (location uncertain, see also MWA2359)
8 In Domesday in Fexhole Hundred. The Phillimore edition has a grid ref of 31,39 which matches Lower Brailes.
Ref 1,1 Earl Edwin held it. 46 hides. Land for 60 ploughs. In lordship 6; 12 male and 3 female slaves; 100 villagers and 30 smallholders with 46 ploughs. A mill at 10s; meadow, 100 acres; woodland 3 leagues long and 2 leagues wide. Before 1066 it paid £17 10s; value now £55 and 20 packloads of salt.

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