Information for record number MWA8763:
Piles Coppice

Summary Piles Coppice, a Medieval (and probably earlier) managed woodland. The woodland comprises: wood banks, a deer park bank and evidence of ancient coppicing.
What Is It?  
Type: Managed Woodland
Period: Early medieval - Modern (801 AD - 2050 AD)
Where Is It?  
Parish: Binley Woods
District: Rugby, Warwickshire
Grid Reference: SP 38 76
(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  

1A coppice wood of 20.8 ha. Almost certainly recorded in the 1279 Hundred Rolls, the wood can probably be identified with one of the two woods recorded in Domesday Book 1086. It may also be the Munechet (a Celtic wood name) of c.1250; if so, it may have existed c.500 AD. There is a woodbank c.8 m wide on much of the east, north and west edges of the wood; by comparison with woodbanks from Birchley and New Close woods (qv) and East Anglia (Oliver Rackham, Trees and woodland in the British Landscape 1990), it is likely to be of at least Medieval date. The southern edge had, prior to 1996 when much of it was bulldozed, a bank with an internal ditch which was probably the Medieval deer park bank of Brandon to the south. This extends along the north edge of Brandon wood to the east. The bank is also a parish boundary bank. Within the wood there is an undated oval enclosure of c..4 ha within the northern edge; 6 probable sawpits; domestic refuse pits associated with the site of a late 18th/early 19th century gamekeepers lodge at the south-western corner; a number of undated pits and a small quarry; natural and/or man-made ditch systems; and several probably natural shallow hollows. The structure and composition of much of the wood is indicative of its ancient status. There is extensive ancient coppice of small-leaved lime Tilia cordata, with stools up to 5m in diameter, and sessile oak Quercus petraea, much of it former coppice with surviving stools up to 2 m in diameter. Both these species are generally relict species in the lowlands, largely confined to ancient woods. coppice stools of this size are ancient monuments in themselves. Lime is particularly susceptible to grazing and its presence in quantity here is probably an indication that the wood has been an enclosed coppice wood with very restricted or no grazing throughout its recorded history. Much of the ground vegetation (e.g. wood anemone Anemone nemorosa) also consists of species largely restricted to ancient woods in this area.
2 Presence of extensive old small-leaved lime coppice supports a Medieval date for the wood and may indicate a direct link with prehistoric wildwood.
3 A ditched and banked boundary was identified during a walkover survey prior to a proposed water pipeline.

Source No: 3
Source Type: Desk Top Study
Title: Coventry Outer Ring Main, West Midlands, Archaeological Desk-Based Assessment 2001
Author/originator: Ramsey, E
Date: 2001
Page Number:
Source No: 1
Source Type: Unpublished document
Title: The Historical Ecology of the Woods of Binley, Warwickshire
Author/originator: Dr David Morfitt
Date: 2000
Page Number:
Source No: 2
Source Type: Unpublished document
Title: Researching Warwickshire's Woodland History
Author/originator: Morfitt, David
Date: 1998
Page Number: 1-9
Volume/Sheet: 269
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Word or Phrase
source Domesday Book The Domesday Book was commissioned in December 1085 by William the Conqueror, who invaded England in 1066. It contains records for about 13,000 medieval settlements in the English counties south of the rivers Ribble and Tees (the border with Scotland at the time). The Domesday Book is a detailed record of the lands and their resources that belonged to the king. It also records the identity of the landholders and their tenants. back
period Modern The Modern Period, about 1915 AD to the present (the 20th and 21st centuries AD)

In recent years archaeologists have realised the importance of recording modern sites. They do this so that in the future people will be able to look at the remains to help them understand the events to which they are related.
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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 – 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 modern About 1915 AD to the present (the 20th and 21st centuries AD)

In recent years archaeologists have realised the importance of recording modern sites. They do this so that in the future people will be able to look at the remains to help them understand the events to which they are related.
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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 LODGE * A small building, often inhabited by a gatekeeper, gamekeeper or similar. Use specific type where known. back
monument PILE * Component: Use wider site type where known. back
monument DEER PARK * A large park for keeping deer. In medieval times the prime purpose was for hunting. back
monument BOUNDARY * The limit to an area as defined on a map or by a marker of some form, eg. BOUNDARY WALL. Use specific type where known. back
monument PARISH BOUNDARY * The limit line of a parish. back
monument PIT * A hole or cavity in the ground, either natural or the result of excavation. Use more specific type where known. back
monument OVAL ENCLOSURE * An oval shaped area of land enclosed by a boundary ditch, bank, wall, palisade or similar barrier. back
monument WOOD * A tract of land with trees, sometimes acting as a boundary or barrier, usually smaller and less wild than a forest. 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 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 COPPICE * A managed small wood or thicket of underwood grown to be periodically cut to encourage new growth providing smaller timber. back
monument QUARRY * An excavation from which stone for building and other functions, is obtained by cutting, blasting, etc. back
monument MANAGED WOODLAND * An area of cultivated, managed woodland producing wood which is used for a variety of purposes. back
monument WOOD BANK * An earthen bank indicating the limit of a wood or coppice back
monument DOMESTIC * This is the top term for the class. See DOMESTIC Class List for narrow terms. back

* Copyright of English Heritage (1999)

English Heritage National Monuments Record