Wormleighton Deserted Village
The Medieval deserted settlement of Wormleighton. Documentary evidence records the pattern of the desertion and records the final villagers being forced out in 1498 and 1499. The earthworks of house platforms and hollow ways are still visible.
1 Enclosure and depopulation here is well documented. John Spencer bought the property from the depopulator, William Coope, and restored the church and some of the houses.
2 Excellent archaeological evidence (A) and excellent documentary evidence (1*).
3 Site of Manor House on a raised platform (PRN 1310), earthworks of village street, crofts and fishponds (PRN 1309).
4 Evidence appears to indicate that the population had declined by half even before the depopulation of 1499. William Cope gained control of the entire parish and destroyed twelve messuages and three cottages and drove 60 persons from the land. The total depopulation could have amounted to 85 people. The village consisted of two parallel rows of rectilinear homesteads and crofts separated by a long narrow green that extended from the ford SE towards a suite of fishponds. Investigation with soil augers revealed little stone walling and the buildings were probably simple timber and thatch structures. Copy of plan in FI file.
5 Scheduled as Warwickshire Monument No 118. Very clear site with shrunken roads and rectangular house platforms/ entrances. One banked site is much larger than any of the others, probably the site of the Medieval manor house. The village was dispossessed in 1498.
6 1966: One of the largest deserted sites in Warwickshire, under permanent pasture and in excellent condition.
7 Two magnificent rows of house platforms of uniform dimensions arranged regularly along either side of a straight village street. It is distant from the church and probably from the earliest nucleus of settlement in the parish and may, therefore, represent subsequent settlement.
8 Planned in 1971.
10 SAM description.
11 A management agreement allowing public access exists.
12 Archaeological observation of repairs to the Oxford Canal and an adjacent culvert, within the DMV of Wormleighton, revealed no Medieval remains. The culvert was late 18th century, contemporary with the canal, and carried a watercourse that may have originated either as a medieval roadside ditch or a Post Medieval fish pond drain.
13 In 1992 archaeological observations took place during replacement of the electricity poles. The new holes were dug directly over the old sockets and no apparent damage to archaeological deposits occurred.
14 Correspondence relating to a management agreement.
15 Memo from 1990 about rights of way.
16 Scheduling information.
17 Annotated plan.