Information for record number MWA728:
Deserted Medieval Settlement 300m SE of Priors Hardwick Church

Summary The site of a Medieval deserted settlement. It is first recorded as one of 24 vills granted to Earl Leofric to found a monastery at Coventry. The village was in decline in the 16th century. The site is located 300m south of the church at Priors Hardwick.
What Is It?  
Type: Deserted Settlement
Period: Medieval (1066 AD - 1539 AD)
Where Is It?  
Parish: Priors Hardwick
District: Stratford on Avon, Warwickshire
Grid Reference: SP 47 56
(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: )
Scheduled Monument (Grade: )
Sites & Monuments Record
Picture(s) attached


Source Number  
Earthworks indicating an area of Medieval settlement. Possible evidence for a moated site (PRN 6206) and fishponds (PRN 6207).
1 In the centre of Priors Hardwick village is a large field called Farm Close or Church Close. Here is a deserted village nucleus in which a rectilinear network of lanes is bounded on the E by a well-marked boundary ditch. A particularly large moated (?) Earthwork near the Church could have been the manor house (PRN 6206). To the S, at the top of the hill, are fishponds (PRN 6207).
3 Various air photographs.
4 A settlement is first recorded as one of 24 vills granted to Earl Leofric to found a monastery at Coventry, the grant was confrimed by Edward the Confessor in 1024. By the time of the Domesday Survey the settlement amounted to 15 hides among the Priory estates. The population of the village was falling during th 16th century and it is believed that desertion, in favour of sheep pastures, soon followed. the present village contains buildings largely of the 18th century and results from later regrowth of the settlement on a different alignment. The Earthwork remains represent a series of regular tofts and crofts defined by banks and ditches forming enclosures including some subdivided plots that also contain house platforms.
5 Scheduling information 1999.
6 Correspondence from 1991 about protection from development.
7 Plan of the areas of concern expressed in

Source No: 3
Source Type: Aerial Photograph
Title: SP1751
Author/originator: CUCAP
Page Number:
Volume/Sheet: SP1751:M
Source No: 6
Source Type: Correspondence
Title: Sites of archaeological interest in Priors Hardwick
Author/originator: White , J.G
Date: 1991
Page Number:
Source No: 1
Source Type: Descriptive Text
Title: Farm Close, Priors Hardwick
Author/originator: Usher H
Date: 1977
Page Number:
Source No: 2
Source Type: Plan
Title: Earthworks in Farm Close
Author/originator: Usher H
Date: 1977
Page Number:
Source No: 7
Source Type: Plan
Title: Sites of archaeological interest, Priors Hardwick.
Author/originator: Parish Council
Date: 1991
Page Number:
Source No: 5
Source Type: Scheduling record
Title: Medieval Settlement of Priors Hardwick
Author/originator: EH
Date: 1999
Page Number:
Source No: 4
Source Type: Unpublished document
Title: Priors Hardwick Deserted Medieval Settlement
Author/originator: Foster C
Date: 1998
Page Number:
Extensive earthworks of a Medieval settlement near Priors Hardwick
Copyright: Warwickshire County Council
Date: 1992
Click here for larger image  
Earthworks of a Medieval deserted settlement near Priors Hardwick
Copyright: Warwickshire County Council
Date: 1992
Click here for larger image  
back to top


Word or Phrase
none Scheduled Monument Scheduled Ancient Monuments (SAMs) are those archaeological sites which are legally recognised as being of national importance. They can range in date from prehistoric times to the Cold War period. They can take many different forms, including disused buildings or sites surviving as earthworks or cropmarks.

SAMs are protected by law from unlicensed disturbance and metal detecting. Written consent from the Secretary of State must be obtained before any sort of work can begin, including archaeological work such as geophysical survey or archaeological excavation. There are nearly 200 SAMs in Warwickshire.
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.
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.
more ->
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 SITE * Unclassifiable site with minimal information. Specify site type wherever possible. back
monument FISHPOND * A pond used for the rearing, breeding, sorting and storing of fish. back
monument SETTLEMENT * A small concentration of dwellings. back
monument TOFT * The place where a house stood or had once stood, often adjoining a garth or croft. 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 MANOR HOUSE * The principal house of a manor or village. back
monument PRIORY * A monastery governed by a prior or prioress. Use with narrow terms of DOUBLE HOUSE, FRIARY, MONASTERY or NUNNERY. back
monument CHURCH * A building used for public Christian worship. Use more specific type where known. back
monument BOUNDARY DITCH * A ditch that indicates the limit of an area or a piece of land. back
monument PASTURE * A field covered with herbage for the grazing of livestock. back
monument DESERTED SETTLEMENT * An abandoned settlement, usually of the Medieval period, often visible only as earthworks or on aerial photographs. 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 ENCLOSURE * An area of land enclosed by a boundary ditch, bank, wall, palisade or other similar barrier. Use specific type where known. 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 HIDE * A shelter, sometimes camouflaged, for the observation of birds and animals at close quarters. back
monument CROFT * An enclosed piece of land adjoining a house. back
monument HOUSE PLATFORM * An area of ground on which a house is built. A platform is often the sole surviving evidence for a house. back
monument MONASTERY * Houses specifically of monks, canons or religious men but not friars. back
monument VILL * Small discreet rural settlements which do not provide the commercial, legal or ecclesiastical services typically found within medieval urban areas. 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 EARTHWORK * A bank or mound of earth used as a rampart or fortification. back

* Copyright of English Heritage (1999)

English Heritage National Monuments Record