Information for record number MWA3391:
Possible Medieval Earthworks to Northeast of Brownsover Church

Summary The site of several linear earthworks, banks and ditches. Few traces of the earthworks now remain but excavations during the 1950s found evidence that the features may date to the Medieval period. The earthworks were situated north of the church at Brownsover.
What Is It?  
Type: Earthwork, Bank (Earthwork), Linear Earthwork
Period: Medieval (1066 AD - 1539 AD)
Where Is It?  
Parish: Rugby
District: Rugby, Warwickshire
Grid Reference: SP 50 77
(Data represented on this map shows the current selected record as a single point, this is for illustrative purposes only and does not represent an accurate or complete representation of archaeological sites or features)
Level of Protection National - Old SMR PrefRef (Grade: )
Sites & Monuments Record
Picture(s) attached


Source Number  

1 British entrenchments at Brownsover. A triple row of 'ramparts' or banks rising in terraces on the N and W and possibly on the S. On the E are traces of an irregular bank and ditch. A road has been recently been cut through the earthworks and various finds made (MWA5401).
2 Recorded as a prehistoric defensive earthwork.
3 In 1629 certain aged witnesses deposed that Brownsover Park, which has been enlarged from the common fields to 30 acres, anciently contained no more than four acres, adjoining the churchyard, its old banks and ditches being still visible.
4 Excavations in 1953 (MWA5402) indicated that these earthworks are probably Medieval. A number of plans and notes on these Excavations are held in the FI file.
5 There are now no earthworks here of any archaeological significance and it is doubtful if there ever were. The portion published as such on the OS 1:2500 is a field road leading to the church; other earthworks are either natural or terracing resulting from 18th century and 19th century road building/landscaping. The excavated finds are no more than might be expected from any other hamlet with a Medieval background.
6 Photos in the further information file suggest that this may have been a barrow site, now under the by-pass, at NGR 450946, 277355.
7 Further notes from Bloxam on these earthworks. "That Brownsover was a place of great antiquity is evident from the remains of earthworks, though slight, especially near the chapel yard. Other earthworks were visible before the road was altered, in the grounds in front of Brownsover Hall ; these were disturbed in the laying out of the grounds ; but previous to this alteration I had a plan taken of them. These earthworks were irregular in design, and not well defined." Bloxam concludes that this was the site of an oppidum.
8 Tracing of tithe map and apportionment which records the layout of the hall and its grounds.

Source No: 7
Source Type: Bibliographic reference
Title: Rugby: The School and Neighbourhood
Author/originator: Bloxam, M H
Date: 1889
Page Number:
Source No: 3
Source Type: Bibliographic reference
Title: Victoria County History, vol 6, Warwickshire
Author/originator: Salzman L F (ed)
Date: 1951
Page Number:
Volume/Sheet: VI
Source No: 2
Source Type: Bibliographic reference
Title: Victoria County History, vol 1, Warwickshire
Author/originator: Doubleday H A & Page W (eds)
Date: 1904
Page Number:
Volume/Sheet: 1
Source No: 1
Source Type: Bibliographic reference
Title: The Analyst
Author/originator: Bloxam M H
Date: 1836
Page Number:
Volume/Sheet: 4
Source No: 4
Source Type: Excavation Report
Title: RSNHS
Author/originator: Fawcett T
Date: 1953
Page Number: 16
Source No: 8
Source Type: Map
Title: Tracing of Brownsover - Tithe Map and details from Aportionment, 1849
Author/originator: J?
Date: 1994
Page Number:
Source No: 5
Source Type: Record Card/Form
Title: OS Card 29NE1
Author/originator: Ordnance Survey
Date: 1967
Page Number:
Volume/Sheet: 29NE1
Source No: 6
Source Type: Verbal communication
Author/originator: Ed Wilson
Date: 2003
Page Number:
Plan of earthworks and banks near Brownsover
Copyright: Warwickshire County Council
Date: 1983
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Word or Phrase
source Antiquity Antiquity is a journal about archaeological research and is published four times each year. The journal includes articles about archaeology from all over the world, from the Palaeolithic to the present. Each issue includes an editorial, brief reports, current news in colour, research papers and notes, full review coverage of new archaeological books and occasional special sections on selected topics. back
source OS Card Ordnance Survey Record Card. Before the 1970s the Ordnance Survey (OS) were responsible for recording archaeological monuments during mapping exercises. This helped the Ordnance Survey to decide which monuments to publish on maps. During these exercises the details of the monuments were written down on record cards. Copies of some of the cards are kept at the Warwickshire Sites and Monuments Record. The responsibility for recording archaeological monuments later passed to the Royal Commission on Ancient and Historic Monuments. back
technique Earthwork Earthworks can take the form of banks, ditches and mounds. They are usually created for a specific purpose. A bank, for example, might be the remains of a boundary between two or more fields. Some earthworks may be all that remains of a collapsed building, for example, the grassed-over remains of building foundations.

In the winter, when the sun is lower in the sky than during the other seasons, earthworks have larger shadows. From the air, archaeologists are able to see the patterns of the earthworks more easily. Earthworks can sometimes be confusing when viewed at ground level, but from above, the general plan is much clearer.

Archaeologists often carry out an aerial survey or an earthwork survey to help them understand the lumps and bumps they can see on the ground.
technique excavation Archaeologists excavate sites so that they can find information and recover archaeological materials before they are destroyed by erosion, construction or changes in land-use.

Depending on how complicated and widespread the archaeological deposits are, excavation can be done by hand or with heavy machinery. Archaeologists may excavate a site in a number of ways; either by open area excavation, by digging a test pit or a trial trench.
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period Prehistoric About 500,000 BC to 42 AD

The Prehistoric period covers all the periods from the Palaeolithic to the end of the Iron Age.
This is a time when people did not write anything down so there is no documentary evidence for archaeologists to look at. Instead, the archaeologists look at the material culture belonging to the people and the places where they lived for clues about their way of life.

The Prehistoric period is divided into the Early Prehistoric and Later Prehistoric.
The Early Prehistoric period covers the Palaeolithic and Mesolithic periods.
The Later Prehistoric period covers Neolithic, Bronze Age and Iron Age times.
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period Medieval 1066 AD to 1539 AD (the 11th century AD to the 16th century AD)

The medieval period comes after the Saxon period and before the post medieval period.

The Medieval period begins in 1066 AD.
This was the year that the Normans, led by William the Conqueror (1066 ā€“ 1087), invaded England and defeated Harold Godwinson at the Battle of Hastings in East Sussex.
The Medieval period includes the first half of the Tudor period (1485 ā€“ 1603 AD), when the Tudor family reigned in England and eventually in Scotland too.

The end of the Medieval period is marked by Henry VIIIā€™s (1509 ā€“ 1547) order for the Dissolution of the Monasteries in the years running up to 1539 AD. The whole of this period is sometimes called the Middle Ages.
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monument YARD * A paved area, generally found at the back of a house. back
monument BARROW * Artificial mound of earth, turf and/or stone, normally constructed to contain or conceal burials. Use specific type where known. back
monument SITE * Unclassifiable site with minimal information. Specify site type wherever possible. back
monument SCHOOL * An establishment in which people, usually children, are taught. back
monument HAMLET * Small settlement with no ecclesiastical or lay administrative function. back
monument BUILDING * A structure with a roof to provide shelter from the weather for occupants or contents. Use specific type where known. back
monument PARK * An enclosed piece of land, generally large in area, used for hunting, the cultivation of trees, for grazing sheep and cattle or visual enjoyment. Use more specific type where known. back
monument FEATURE * Areas of indeterminate function. back
monument CHURCH * A building used for public Christian worship. Use more specific type where known. back
monument RAMPART * A protective earthen mound, often the main defence of a fortification. back
monument ROAD * A way between different places, used by horses, travellers on foot and vehicles. back
monument WELL * A shaft or pit dug in the ground over a supply of spring-water. back
monument FIELD * An area of land, often enclosed, used for cultivation or the grazing of livestock. back
monument LINEAR EARTHWORK * A substantial bank and ditch forming a major boundary between two adjacent landholdings. Most date from the late Bronze Age and Iron Age. back
monument CHURCHYARD * An area of ground belonging to a church, often used as a burial ground. back
monument DITCH * A long and narrow hollow or trench dug in the ground, often used to carry water though it may be dry for much of the year. back
monument CHAPEL * A freestanding building, or a room or recess serving as a place of Christian worship in a church or other building. Use more specific type where known. back
monument ROW * A row of buildings built during different periods, as opposed to a TERRACE. back
monument OPPIDUM * An imprecise term used to describe large Iron Age settlements of town-like proportions. back
monument EARTHWORK * A bank or mound of earth used as a rampart or fortification. back
monument TERRACE * A row of houses attached to and adjoining one another and planned and built as one unit. back

* Copyright of English Heritage (1999)

English Heritage National Monuments Record