Whitchurch Deserted Medieval Settlement

Description of this historic site

The Medieval deserted settlement of Whitchurch, which is still visible as an earthwork. Traces of a moat, house platforms, a hollow way and a manor house are visible. It was abandoned by the mid 16th century. It is situated around St Mary's Church, Whitchurch.

Notes about this historic site

1 The church (PRN 1407) stands alone, except for a cottage. Near it are the mounds and ditches where the village once stood. The original depopulator was Sir Edward Belknap in 1498, and in 1543 Anthony Cotes completed his work.
2 An account of surviving remains in 1906-7 does not tie in clearly with what is known of the village.
3 Archaeological evidence medium (B), documentary evidence excellent (1*).
4 Minor earthworks indicative of desertion nearly surround the church. In the paddock to the S of the cottage there are non-surveyable traces of buildings and to the N of the Church is one good steading – possibly the rectory mentioned in reference 2. An old road approaches across a ford from the NW.
5 A number of additional platforms and features are marked.
8 Cropmarks indicate additional house sites to the south of the surviving earthworks and medieval pottery was observed during field survey.
9 Domesday lists Whitchurch. It was in Barcheston Hundred and the Phillimore edition has a grid reference of 22,47, (which is one digit different from this monument’s grid ref).
Ref 16,21 (Land of the Count of Meulan) Whitchurch as 2 manors. Alwin held it and could go where he would. 7 hides. Land for 12 ploughs. In lordship 3 ploughs; 7 slaves. 16 villagers, 1 free man and 2 smallholders with a priest have 8 ploughs. 2 mills at 20s, meadow, 30 acres. The value was £6; now £8 10s.
Ref 16,65 in Whitchurch, a manor of the Count’s, Walter holds 1 hide from him; he has 1 plough. Value 10s. Alwin held it freely before 1066.
10 Earthworks to the south of the Manor can be seen on lidar images (EWA 9974).

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