Southam Medieval Settlement

Description of this historic site

The possible extent of Medieval settlement at Southam as suggested by the Ordnance Survey map of 1886.

Notes about this historic site

1 The possible extent of the Medieval settlement, based on the first edition 6″ map of 188, 40NE.
2Borough 1399-1400. Market Town c 1600. Market Charter granted for Wednesdays on 14th February 1227 by Henry III to Prior and Monks of Coventry. Sherriff of Warwickshire ordered to proclaim the market and cause it to be established 15th February 1227. On 8th March 1239 Henry II granted Prior and Monks that the day of the market should be changed to Monday. Monday market recorded in 1677 and continued until early twentieth century.
Fair Charter for vigil feast morrow Peter and Paul (29th June) feria granted 1st August 1256 by Henry III to Prior and Convent of Coventry. The fair was regranted on 30th 1257.
3 The ridge and furrow plotting of the parish.
4 Listed in the Domesday survey under Marton Hundred. The Phillimore edition has a grid reference of 41,61.
Ref 6,8 (Land of Coventry Church) in Southam 4 hides. Land for 12 ploughs. In lordship 2 ploughs; 7 slaves; 20 villagers and 8 smallholders with 8 ploughs. 2 mills at 4s; meadow 10 acres; woodland 1 league long and 1/2 league wide; this woodland is in the King’s hands. Value before 1066 and now 100s; when acquired 60s.
5 The first edition map shows a small town at the intersection of several roads, of which one is the Welsh Road [WA4766], a drove road for livestock, which dates from the Medieval period. There is dense occupation at the centre and along Coventry Street to the north, and triangular and polygonal areas to the east of the centre enclosed by back lanes. Many of the gardens and small fields behind the houses contain trees and orchards. The ridge and furrow plotting shows some survival all round Southam, which abuts the town in some places.To the north and south however there is a space between the settlement and the ridge and furrow.The River Stow provides a natural border to the southeast. Domesday indicates a populous and quite valuable village. The church [WA761] dates from the C14th.
6 An evaluation at 6 Market Hill recorded evidence for late medieval/ early post-medieival settlement activity. Two pits were recorded, filled with demolition debris dating to the 15th-17th centuries. It is suggested that the site has been occupied from at least the 17th century, although documentary evidence suggests this might be part of a longer sequence.
7 A possible medieval pit or ditch containing 12th-century pottery was recorded during observation on Warwick Road and Wattons Lane.
8A desk-based assessment was carried out on land in the centre of the town prior to a potential redevelopment.

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