Information for record number MWA656:
Burton Shrunken Medieval Settlement

Summary The site of the Medieval shrunken village of Burton. The remains of the village survive as earthworks, some of which have been excavated. The site lies to the north, west and south of the church at Burton Dassett.
What Is It?  
Type: Shrunken Village, Market, Fair
Period: Medieval (1066 AD - 1539 AD)
Where Is It?  
Parish: Burton Dassett
District: Stratford on Avon, Warwickshire
Grid Reference: SP 39 51
(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

Source Number  

1 The village used to surround the church near the summit of the hill, where there is now only a farm and vicarage. The main village is now at Northend. Information exists for the depopulation of the Burton Dassett settlements by Sir William Belknap between 1499 and 1549. It is also probable that at an earlier date still there were two settlements in this parish, one near the burh on the hill, and the other near the stone chapel at Little Dassett, the original Dassett (see PRN 660).
2 Examination of air cover and ground perambulation showed no earthworks indicative of desertion in the immediate vicinity of the church.
3 The church is surrounded by about 15 ha of earthworks indicating a vanished settlement. This may also represent a pre-conquest site (MWA6190).
4 earthworks were excavated to the S of the church in advance of an extension to the churchyard in 1973. An area of about 250 square metres was stripped but only the latest levels examined. A stone wall running approximately N-S seemed to be a boundary wall of a croft, flanked to the S by a drainage ditch, with a crude causeway of stones across it. A tumble of stone indicated that a more substantial structure lay outside the area of the excavation to the S. To the E of the wall were possible traces of a hearth. Pottery ranged from 11th to 13th century, with some Romano-British pottery (MWA6139).
5 excavation interim.
6 excavation interim.
7 Air photograph.
8 excavations following the renewal of water mains revealed a series of 13th-15th century buildings, on the north fringe of Burton Dassett.
9 Market charter granted for Friday Market 16 Jun 1267 by Henry III to Bartholomew de Suthleg. To be held at Manor. Fair Charter (vigil feast morrow) for James (25th July) granted 16 Jun 1267 by Henry III to Batholomew de Suthleg.
10 Historical information about the parish.
11 Lists of details of estates.
12 Copies of documents.
13 Archaeomagnetic dating during the excavation 1986 and 1987 of a series of iron hearths that were uncovered.
14 The possible extent of the medieval settlement was expanded to include a series of boundary banks mapped as part of the South East Warwickshire and Cotswolds HLS Target Areas National Mapping Programme. Here they were interpreted, along with banks further north, as being post-medieval. The southern banks appear more likely to be an additional area of medieval Burton (especially in light of EWA 6843, extra medieval settlement found during pipeline laying, which had not been added to village extent). The northern banks have been recorded separately as MWA 19366. Other NMP monuments included in this monument are: 1548447- A probably medieval or Post Medieval boundary bank or possibly a trackway is visible as an earthwork on aerial photographs. The site comprises an L shaped linear bank, flanked by narrow drainage ditches, extending parallel with the extant field boundaries. This site has been mapped from aerial photographs as part of the South East Warwickshire and Cotswolds HLS Target Areas National Mapping Programme (this has been treated as the south edge of medieval Burton, the ridge and furrow implies it could lie 35m further north). 1548449- A probably Post Medieval pond or possibly an extractive pit is visible as earthworks on aerial photographs. The site and comprises an amorphous hollow. On aerial photographs taken in 1999, it appears to have been reshaped into a sub circular hollow. This site has been mapped from aerial photographs as part of the South East Warwickshire and Cotswolds HLS Target Areas National Mapping Programme. 1548451- A medieval or Post Medieval (MUST BE medieval ORIGINALLY) hollow way is visible as an earthwork on aerial photographs taken in 1947, though the hollow way appears to have been levelled on aerial photographs taken in 1993 (NOPE, STILL THERE). The site comprises a central ditch flanked by spoil heaps (NOT spoil heapS BUT BANKS AND buildingS). At the eastern end, the spoil heaps converge, truncating the line of the hollow way (NO, THEY MEET A N-S hollow way). This site has been mapped from aerial photographs as part of the South East Warwickshire and Cotswolds HLS Target Areas National Mapping Programme. 1548453- A pair of medieval (MOST LIKLEY) or Post Medieval possible building platforms are visible as earthworks on aerial photographs. The site comprises a pair of sub rectangular mounds. The site is visible on aerial photographs taken in 1947, though the site appears to have been levelled on aerial photographs taken in 1993. This site has been mapped from aerial photographs as part of the South East Warwickshire and Cotswolds HLS Target Areas National Mapping Programme. 1548455- A probably Post Medieval possible stack stand is visible as an earthworks on aerial photographs taken in 1947, though it appears to have been levelled on aerial photographs taken in 1993. The site comprises a sub circular mound which measures circa 8m in diameter (SEEMS MOST UNLIKELY AS IT IS IN THE village earthworkS). This site has been mapped from aerial photographs as part of the South East Warwickshire and Cotswolds HLS Target Areas National Mapping Programme
15 The mapped earthworks show well on lidar along with others in the same area which appear to represent subtle village remains when interpreted with the banks
14. The monument was also expanded to include all separate areas of recorded medieval earthworks and the southern limit was reduced slightly as there is no real evidence the settlement went as far as it was marked on the HER and the area was covered in large ridge and furrow with no hints of medieval settlement beneath. Lidar imagery shows a few building foundations with those of a long structure running E-W, adjacent to an E-W hollow way located at SP 3967 5146. Another building can be seen just east on the opposite side of a N-S hollow way. They probably represent houses as they are not dissimlar from structures excavated in the 1980s in Dassett Southend.

Source No: 7
Source Type: Aerial Photograph
Title: SP2661 and SP2662
Author/originator: Various
Date: Various
Page Number:
Volume/Sheet: SP2661AB-AC SP2662A-
Source No: 3
Source Type: Bibliographic reference
Title: Field and Forest
Author/originator: Bond C J
Date: 1982
Page Number: 160
Source No: 14
Source Type: Desk Top Study
Title: SE Warwickshire and Cotswolds NMP Project
Author/originator: Russell Priest
Date: 2010-2012
Page Number:
Source No: 10
Source Type: Descriptive Text
Title: Dassett Magna
Author/originator: Whitmarsh, Guy
Date: 1987
Page Number:
Source No: 11
Source Type: Descriptive Text
Title: Fenny Compton Ms Estates 92
Page Number:
Source No: 12
Source Type: Descriptive Text
Title: The Manor and Grange of Fenicompton
Page Number:
Source No: 6
Source Type: Excavation Report
Title: Medieval Villages Research Group
Author/originator: Hunt AM
Date: 1972
Page Number: 36
Volume/Sheet: 20:21
Source No: 5
Source Type: Excavation Report
Title: WMANS no 16
Author/originator: Hunt AM
Date: 1973
Page Number: 30
Volume/Sheet: 16
Source No: 9
Source Type: Internet Data
Title: Gazetteer of Markets and Fairs to 1516 (Warwickshire)
Author/originator: Institute of Historical Research (CMH)
Date: 2005
Page Number:
Volume/Sheet: Warwickshire
Source No: 8
Source Type: Observation Report
Title: Archaeological observation of Severn Trent Water Mains Renewals in Burton Dassett, Avon Dassett and Fenny Compton, Warwickshire
Author/originator: Coutts, C and Palmer, S
Date: 2000
Page Number:
Volume/Sheet: Report 0013
Source No: 4
Source Type: Plan
Title: Field and Forest
Author/originator: Bond C J
Date: 1982
Page Number:
Volume/Sheet: Fig 7:2
Source No: 2
Source Type: Record Card/Form
Title: OS Card 25NE6
Author/originator: Ordnance Survey
Date: 1968
Page Number:
Source No: 1
Source Type: Serial
Title: TBAS vol 66
Author/originator: Beresford M W
Date: 1945
Page Number: 99
Volume/Sheet: 66
Source No: 15
Source Type: Verbal communication
Title: Pers. Comm.
Author/originator: B Gethin
Date: 2013 onwards
Page Number:
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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
source TBAS Transactions of the Birmingham and Warwickshire Archaeological Society is a journal produced by the society annually. It contains articles about archaeological field work that has taken place in Birmingham and Warwickshire in previous years. Copies of the journal are kept by the Warwickshire Sites and Monuments Record. back
source WMANS West Midlands Archaeological News Sheet, a publication that was produced each year, this later became West Midlands Archaeology. The West Midlands Arcaheological News Sheet contains reports about archaeological work that was carried out in the West Midlands region in the previous year. It includes information about sites dating from the Prehistoric to the Post Medieval periods. It was produced the Department of Extramural Studies at Birmingham University. Copies are held at the Warwickshire Sites and Monuments Record. 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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technique Aerial Photograph Aerial photographs are taken during an aerial survey, which involves looking at the ground from above. It is usually easier to see cropmarks and earthworks when they are viewed from above. Aerial photographs help archaeologists to record what they see and to identify new sites. There are two kinds of aerial photographs; oblique and vertical. back
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 – 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 – 1603 AD), when the Tudor family reigned in England and eventually in Scotland too.

The end of the Medieval period is marked by Henry VIII’s (1509 – 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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period Post Medieval About 1540 AD to 1750 AD (the 16th century AD to the 18th century AD)

The Post Medieval period comes after the medieval period and before the Imperial period.

This period covers the second half of the reign of the Tudors (1485 – 1603), the reign of the Stuarts (1603 – 1702) and the beginning of the reign of the Hannoverians (1714 – 1836).
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monument GRANGE * An outlying farm or estate, usually belonging to a religious order or feudal lord. Specifically related to core buildings and structures associated with monastic land holding. Use specific term where known. back
monument HOUSE * A building for human habitation, especially a dwelling place. Use more specific type where known. back
monument VILLAGE * A collection of dwelling-houses and other buildings, usually larger than a hamlet but smaller than a town with a simpler organisation and administration than the latter. back
monument HOLLOW * A hollow, concave formation or place, which has sometimes been dug out. back
monument SITE * Unclassifiable site with minimal information. Specify site type wherever possible. back
monument SETTLEMENT * A small concentration of dwellings. back
monument VICARAGE * The residence of a vicar, parson or rector. 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 BOUNDARY BANK * An earthen bank that indicates the limit of an area or a piece of land. back
monument RIDGE AND FURROW * A series of long, raised ridges separated by ditches used to prepare the ground for arable cultivation. This was a technique, characteristic of the medieval period. back
monument EXTRACTIVE PIT * Surface workings including shallow shafts, lode workings, open-pit methods and quarrying including some mines of stone, clays, compounds, etc. See also MINERAL EXTRACTION SITE. back
monument STONE * Use only where stone is natural or where there is no indication of function. back
monument SHRUNKEN VILLAGE * A settlement where previous house sites are now unoccupied, but often visible as earthworks, crop or soil marks. back
monument POND * A body of still water often artificially formed for a specific purpose. Use specifc type where known. back
monument MARKET * An open space or covered building in which cattle, goods, etc, are displayed for sale. back
monument CHURCH * A building used for public Christian worship. Use more specific type where known. back
monument FAIR * A site where a periodical gathering of buyers, sellers and entertainers, meet at a time ordained by charter or statute or by ancient custom. back
monument BURH * An Anglo-Saxon fortified town or other defended site, not necessarily urban. back
monument STACK STAND * A platform for storing winter fodder. back
monument HEARTH * The slab or place on which a fire is made. back
monument WELL * A shaft or pit dug in the ground over a supply of spring-water. back
monument BUILDING PLATFORM * A site where a building once stood as identified by a level area of ground, often compacted or made from man-made materials. Use only where specific function is unknown, otherwise use more specific term. back
monument FIELD * An area of land, often enclosed, used for cultivation or the grazing of livestock. back
monument CAUSEWAY * A road or pathway raised above surrounding low, wet or uneven ground. back
monument MANOR * An area of land consisting of the lord's demesne and of lands from whose holders he may exact certain fees, etc. 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 SPOIL HEAP * A conical or flat-topped tip of waste discarded from a mine or similar site. 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 SQUARE * An open space or area, usually square in plan, in a town or city, enclosed by residential and/or commercial buildings, frequently containing a garden or laid out with trees. back
monument CROFT * An enclosed piece of land adjoining a house. back
monument STRUCTURE * A construction of unknown function, either extant or implied by archaeological evidence. If known, use more specific type. back
monument PIPELINE * A conduit or pipes, used primarily for conveying petroleum from oil wells to a refinery, or for supplying water to a town or district, etc. back
monument TRACKWAY * A pathway, not necessarily designed as such, beaten down by the feet of travellers. back
monument DRAINAGE DITCH * A long, narrow ditch designed to carry water away from a waterlogged area. back
monument BOUNDARY WALL * Any wall enclosing a building or complex of buildings, eg. prisons, dockyards, factories, etc. back
monument MOUND * A natural or artificial elevation of earth or stones, such as the earth heaped upon a grave. Use more specific type where known. back
monument FARM * A tract of land, often including a farmhouse and ancillary buildings, used for the purpose of cultivation and the rearing of livestock, etc. Use more specific type where known. back
monument TARGET * Any structure or object, used for the purpose of practice shooting by aerial, seaborne or land mounted weapons. back
monument WALL * An enclosing structure composed of bricks, stones or similar materials, laid in courses. Use specific type where known. back
monument FOREST * A large tract of land covered with trees and interspersed with open areas of land. Traditionally forests were owned by the monarchy and had their own laws. back
monument EARTHWORK * A bank or mound of earth used as a rampart or fortification. back
monument HOLLOW WAY * A way, path or road through a cutting. back

* Copyright of English Heritage (1999)

English Heritage National Monuments Record