Information for record number MWA8771:
Windmill Naps

Summary The site of a managed woodland dating from the Medieval period and contains earthworks including a boundary similar to that surrounding a deer park. It is located 750m south east of Birmingham Rugby Football club.
What Is It?  
Type: Managed Woodland
Period: Medieval - Modern (1066 AD - 2050 AD)
Where Is It?  
Parish: Tanworth in Arden
District: Stratford on Avon, Warwickshire
Grid Reference: SP 09 72
(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 Windmill Naps is a complex wood of 33ha. The earthworks consist of large woodbanks and ditches around the two areas of probable ancient woodland, Tylers Grove to the north and Ladbrookpark Coppice to the south. Between and around these old woods are areas of woodland overlying ridge and furrow of varying sizes, probably dating from the medieval or post-medieval periods up to the 18th century and demarcated by woodbanks of varying sizes. The Coppice wood known as Ladbrookpark Coppice is divided into three separate compartments by large banks and ditches. A wood account for Tanworth of 1403-4 notes £20 received for all wood growing "intra clausur' de Lodbrookes" (Shakespeare Birthplace Trust Box 102 extra information). The account clearly identifies this site as a wood. After felling the wood was (again?) enclosed. The enclosing is recorded as three separate measurments, the ratios of which are very similar to the ratios of the lengths of the surviving woodbanks. They suggest a perch of between 16 and 18 feet, which is credible. The woodland perch could vary from 15.5 to 30 feet. The 18 foot perch was common throughout England and Wales and is recorded before 1600. In Binley, Warwickshire it was still used in the 18th century. If this reasoning is correct, it tells us that Ladbrookpark Coppice probably existed in very much its present shape and size in the early 15th century; that it was divided into three compartments at that time; and that the woodbanks probably date back to at least that date. It provides evidence of the size of perch that the medieval woodmen were using there. The survey of the earthworks also reveals other features, including a double-ditched deer park-type bank along the north edge of Tylers Grove; Tylers Grove may well be the Tylhous Grove of 1373 or 1374. As the deer park bank stretches along the length of Tylers Grove, including an eastern secondary extension to that wood (marked by large ridge and furrow), it may indicate that the addition to Tylers Grove existed by the time the deer park was created, which may have been c.1350. There is another stretch of deer park-type boundary along the east edge of Ladbrokpark Coppice. There is also a probable windmill mound, 30m across, which is now buried in woodland between Tylers Grove and Ladbrookpark Coppice in the area which was once a field called Windmill Naps. (In 1373 there was a Wynmelfelde hereabouts.) As Windmills were often placed close to woods to channel the wind towards the mill in East Anglia, this mound may show that the wood (or both woods) and a functioning mill existed at the same time.Progressively smaller woodbanks mark the changing edges of the woods as trees probably crept out into underused farmland; a plan of 1707 appears to mark the small additional woodbank on the north edge of Ladbrookpark Coppice as "The New ditch". 18th and 19th century documents show that much of the new woodland on ridge and furrow (apart from the possibly ancient Tylers Grove extension) arose around the end of the 18th century, at a time when, in general, more land was being brought into intensive cultivation throughout England. The two old Coppice woods at Windmill Naps still, after two centuries, form islands of distinct woodland types, with plants like sessile oak Quercus petraea, hazel Corylus avellana, wood anemone Anemone nemorosa, common cowwheat Melampyrum pratense and wild service tree Sorbus torminalis still restricted to them within the complex.
2 Discussion and analysis in to the Windhill Naps earthwork complex, illustrated with plans.
3 Revised version.

Source No: 1
Source Type: Unpublished document
Title: Windmill Naps: Historical and Ecological Survey
Author/originator: Sections on vegetation, history and archaeology by David Morfitt.
Date: 1989
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
Source No: 3
Source Type: Unpublished document
Title: Researching Warwickshire's Woodland History. Revised version 2006
Author/originator: David Morfitt
Date: 2006
Page Number:
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Word or Phrase
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 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 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 SITE * Unclassifiable site with minimal information. Specify site type wherever possible. back
monument WINDMILL * A tower-like structure of wood or brick with a wooden cap and sails which are driven around by the wind producing power to work the internal machinery. Use with product type where known. back
monument CLUB * A building used by an association of persons for social and recreational purposes or for the promotion of some common object. 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 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 MILL * A factory used for processing raw materials. Use more specific mill type where known. See also TEXTILE MILL, for more narrow terms. back
monument FEATURE * Areas of indeterminate function. 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 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 WINDMILL MOUND * An artificial mound of earth indicating either the former site of a windmill or built as the base of a post windmill. back
monument ISLAND * A piece of land, sometimes man-made, completely surrounded by water. 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 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 MANAGED WOODLAND * An area of cultivated, managed woodland producing wood which is used for a variety of purposes. 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