Nuneaton Medieval Settlement

Description of this historic site

The possible extent of the medieval settlement at Nuneaton based on the Ordnance Survey map of 1888 and known archaeological features.

Notes about this historic site

1 The possible extent of the medieval settlement of Nuneaton based on the OS map of 1888, 11SW.
2 Domesday has two entries for Nuneaton in Coleshill Hundred. The Phillimore edition gives a grid ref of SP3691.
Ref 14,1 Earl Aubrey held Nuneaton from the King. Harding held it before 1066. Land for 26 ploughs. In lordship 3; 3 slaves; 44 villagers,6 freedmen and 10 smallholders with 16 ploughs. A mill at 32d; meadow 20 acres; woodland 2 leagues long and 1 1/2 wide. Value before 1066 £4; later £3; now 100s.
Ref 17,70 Robert d’Oilly holds 3 hides in Nuneaton. Land for 5 ploughs. In lordship 3 ploughs; 5 slaves; 9 villagers and 8 smallholders with 8 ploughs. Meadow,5 acres; woodland 1 league in length and width. The value was 40s; now £4.
3 The 1888 map shows dense settlement round the Market Place and radiating out along Abbey Street, Bond Street, Bridge Street, Church Street, and some to the south of Queen’s Road. The central area shows evidence of early town planning with rectangular areas and the suggestion of a grid.The church of St Nicholas dates from the 14th century.
4 The first stage of evaluation of land off Chapel Street (centred SP36159170, EWA 7356) recovered evidence for limited medieval activity including pits and boundary gullies. One pit contained a significant quantity of fish bones. The gullies may have marked a 14th/15th century development of properties fronting Queen’s Road. The development was apparently short-lived, the properties abandoned to cultivation in the late medieval period and most of the boundaries disappearing. One property to survive was that containing the 19th century rope walk.
5 A second stage of evaluation of land off Chapel Street, Nuneaton (centred on SPSP36049172, EWA7438) recorded two pebble surfaces and an associated boundary gully dating from the late medieval/early post-medieval period close behind the Queen’s Road frontage. Further to the rear, a medieval post hole may have belonged to a structure within a tenement running back from Queen’s Road, while the remains of a ditch may have marked the rear boundary of the tenement, or a division within it.
6 Borough 1227. 1334 Subsidy £98.37. Benedictine nunnery moved here from Kintbury, Berkshire c.1155. Market town c.1600. Market (Letter Close) Tues; mercatum, gr 17 Jun 1226, by K Hen III to Ps and N of Eton. To be held at the manor until the king came of age. On 2 Jun 1233, K Hen III granted the ch of St Mary, Ethon (Nuneaton), the Ps and N a Sat market. Mandate to the shire of Warwickshire to proclaim throughout his bailiwick that the Tues market which the Ps and N were accustomed to hold, would henceforth be held on Sat, 2 Jun 1233. Market continued into the twentieth century. Fair (Prescriptive) f+4, Invention of Holy Cross (3 May); recorded 1154×89, held by ch of St Mary Ethon and the Ps and N of the order of Fontevrault. On 23 Apr 1239, K Hen III granted that the fair be extended by beginning two days earlier. This charter refers back to the fair as it was held in the time of K Hen II. Fair continued into the eighteenth century, and following the date change, into the nineteenth century.
7 Portable Antiquities Scheme find provenance information:
Date found: 2006-01-01T00:00:00Z
Methods of discovery: Metal detector
8 Archaeological evaluation at 3 Stratford Street, Nuneaton recorded a medieval building of timber construction, together with a sizeable ceramic assemblage.

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