Information for record number MWA4144:
Deserted medieval Settlement at Cawston

Summary Linear features, a trackway and enclosures of unknown date are visible as cropmarks on aerial photographs. The features suggest that this might be the remains of a settlement. Verified by excavation. Occupied 12th & 13th century, deserted/shrunken by 15th. Thought to be a manorial complex or grange of Pipewell Abbey. The site is located at Cawston.
What Is It?  
Type: Settlement, Trackway, Linear Feature, Enclosure, Blacksmiths Workshop, Building, Building, Manor House?, Cistercian Grange?
Period: Medieval (1066 AD - 1539 AD)
Where Is It?  
Parish: Dunchurch
District: Rugby, Warwickshire
Grid Reference: SP 47 73
(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 AP.
2 Undated crop mark complex consisting of a central trackway, enclosures and linear features shows on aerial photographs.
3 Contains elements of a type that could be either later Prehistoric or RB. However, area context makes Iron Age date more probable.
4 Excavations by Stuart Palmer of Warwickshire Museum field Services. Examined an area where topsoil stripping ran through crop marks to the south of the modern village. An enclosure with three buildings was revealed. Two were of stone with a flimsy timber structure between. Finds included charcoal and burnt soil containing a significant quantity of iron nails. Medieval window glass also recovered. Thought to possibly represent a manorial complex or grange of Pipewell Abbey. On north side of enclosure remains of a smithy revealed. Post built structure also revealed in this area, possibly associated with the smithy. Pottery suggests occupation during the 12th and 13th centuries and desertion or shrinkage in the 14th/15th century. Accords with documentary records of enclosure by Pipewell Abbey before 1486. enclosure ditch also of this date. Other cropmarks (I.e. track) can be dated to this period by association.
5 Features associated with the southern most extent of the DMV was recorded in evaluation.
6 Features not identified through NMP visible on 2013 AP layer.
7 A geophysical survey carried out in 2011 confirmed boradley the cropmark evidence previously identified with a dense complex of enclosures and settlement remains. It was suggested that the results in the North Western area of predominantly larger enclosures were likely to date to the Romano-British period, here it was also suggested that there were hearths, kilns and industrial activity such as pottery production or metal working. The North Eastern area had probable hut circles and other featues that was suggested could be Iron Age.

Source No:
Source Type: Aerial Photograph
Title: Aerial Photograph
Date: 1954
Page Number: 115-9
Volume/Sheet: 1580, 542/37
Source No: 6
Source Type: Aerial Photograph
Title: Modern Aerial Photography (High Resolution)
Author/originator: Blue Sky/Warwickshire County Council
Date: 2012-13
Page Number:
Source No: 1
Source Type: Aerial Photograph
Author/originator: J Pickering
Date: 1962
Page Number:
Volume/Sheet: SP4489 C/D/E/X
Source No:
Source Type: Archaeological Report
Title: Cawston Lane, Dunchurch, Rugby, Warwickshire: Archaeological Evaluation
Author/originator: Tsamis, Vasileios (Cotswold)
Date: 2012
Page Number:
Volume/Sheet: CA Report: 12317
Source No: 4
Source Type: Bibliographic reference
Title: Medieval Settlement Research Group Annual Report 14, 1999
Author/originator: Daniels, R. (Editor)
Date: 1999
Page Number:
Source No: 5
Source Type: Evaluation Report
Title: An Archaeological Evaluation on Land Northwest of Lime Tree Village, Cawston, Warwickshire
Author/originator: D Heale
Date: 2009
Page Number:
Source No: 3
Source Type: Evaluation Report
Title: A426 Rugby Western Bypass Stage 2 Survey
Author/originator: Warwickshire Museum
Date: 1996
Page Number: 27
Source No: 7
Source Type: Geophysical Survey Report
Title: Land North of Cawston Lane, Rugby, Warwickshire: Report on Geophysical Survey, 2011
Author/originator: Bartlett A D
Date: 2011
Page Number:
Source No: 2
Source Type: Verbal communication
Title: R.C.Hingley personal comment
Author/originator: Hingley R C
Date: 1989
Page Number:
Cropmarks marking the site of a possible settlement, Dunchurch
Copyright: Warwickshire County Council
Date: 1976
Click here for larger image  
A possible settlement at Cawston near Dunchurch
Copyright: Warwickshire County Council
Date: 1994
Click here for larger image  
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Word or Phrase
technique Geophysical Survey The measuring and recording of electrical resistivity or magnetism in order to determine the existence and outline of buried features such as walls and ditches. Geophysical techniques include resistivity survey, magnetometer survey and ground penetrating radar. View Image back
technique Cropmark Cropmarks appear as light and dark marks in growing and ripening crops. These marks relate to differences in the soil below. For example, parched lines of grass may indicate stone walls. Crops that grow over stone features often ripen more quickly and are shorter than the surrounding crop. This is because there is less moisture in the soil where the wall lies.

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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 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 Iron Age About 800 BC to 43 AD

The Iron Age comes after the Bronze Age and before the Roman period. It is a time when people developed the skills and knowledge to work and use iron, hence the name ‘Iron Age’ which is given to this period. Iron is a much tougher and more durable metal than bronze but it also requires more skill to make objects from it. People continued to use bronze during this period.
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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 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 LAYER * An archaeological unit of soil in a horizontal plane which may seal features or be cut through by other features. 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 SITE * Unclassifiable site with minimal information. Specify site type wherever possible. back
monument SETTLEMENT * A small concentration of dwellings. back
monument KILN * A furnace or oven for burning, baking or drying. Use specific type where known. 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 STONE * Use only where stone is natural or where there is no indication of function. back
monument MANOR HOUSE * The principal house of a manor or village. back
monument FEATURE * Areas of indeterminate function. back
monument CISTERCIAN GRANGE * An outlying farm or estate belonging to the Cistercian order. back
monument ABBEY * A religious house governed by an abbot or abbess. Use with narrow terms of DOUBLE HOUSE, MONASTERY or NUNNERY. back
monument INDUSTRIAL * This is the top term for the class. See INDUSTRIAL Class List for narrow terms. back
monument HEARTH * The slab or place on which a fire is made. back
monument LINEAR FEATURE * A length of straight, curved or angled earthwork or cropmark of uncertain date or function. back
monument POST BUILT STRUCTURE * A structure indicated by the presence of post holes and of uncertain interpretation. back
monument FIELD * An area of land, often enclosed, used for cultivation or the grazing of livestock. back
monument MUSEUM * A building, group of buildings or space within a building, where objects of value such as works of art, antiquities, scientific specimens, or other artefacts are housed and displayed. 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 HUT CIRCLE * A round house indicated by the presence of a low, roughly circular bank of turf, earth or stone, which formed the base of the walls. Characteristic of the later prehistoric period. Where several occur together use HUT CIRCLE SETTLEMENT. back
monument STRUCTURE * A construction of unknown function, either extant or implied by archaeological evidence. If known, use more specific type. back
monument TRACKWAY * A pathway, not necessarily designed as such, beaten down by the feet of travellers. back
monument BLACKSMITHS WORKSHOP * Place where a smith works iron. May be for small scale local use or within a larger industrial complex. back

* Copyright of English Heritage (1999)

English Heritage National Monuments Record