Information for record number MWA8891:
Medieval settlement at Cosford

Summary The remains of the Medieval shrunken village at Cosford. The settlement was of simple regular form. Cosford is a small parish to the North of Rugby
What Is It?  
Type: Settlement, Shrunken Village
Period: Medieval (1066 AD - 1539 AD)
Where Is It?  
Parish: Cosford
District: Rugby, Warwickshire
Grid Reference: SP 49 79
(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 Cosford is a shrunken settlement, there is a single main street fronted by regular plots, some remaining as hedges, others as earthwork boundaries. Despite this regular appearance, metrological analysis has yet to reveal a standard plot width, but the presence of ridge and furrow within some plots suggests that the settlement was originally laid-out, as a whole, over former open fields. Cosford was a chapelry of Newbold parish, from which the small rectangular township of Cosford may have once been carved. It seems possible that Cosford was initially planned as a response to increased demand for new settlement and perhaps accompanied by a fragmentation of Newbold's open fields. It is possible that the planned settlement is evidence for the possible relocation of population. Perhaps as estates fragmented and parts were granted to new lords, a new impetus was given to the laying out of settlements, along with associated field systems.
2 The planned settlement can be traced on the Ordnance Survey 1st edition map of 1888.
3 Cosford is not listed in Domesday.
4 A short length of stone foundation and a pit, both possibly of medieval origin, were uncovered during an archaeological observation at Grange Farm. A small number of medieval potsherds were also found.

Source No: 3
Source Type: Bibliographic reference
Title: Domesday Book Warwickshire incl Birmingham
Author/originator: Phillimore and Co Ltd
Date: 1976
Page Number:
Source No: 2
Source Type: Map
Title: 23SE 1:10560 1886
Author/originator: Ordnance Survey
Date: 1886
Page Number:
Volume/Sheet: 23SE
Source No: 4
Source Type: Observation Report
Title: Archaeological observation at Grange Farm, Cosford
Author/originator: Coutts C
Date: 2005
Page Number:
Source No: 1
Source Type: Unpublished document
Title: Bridging the Gap: Recent Research on Rural and Urban Settlement Forms in Medieval Warwickshire
Author/originator: Lilley K
Date: 1995
Page Number:
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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
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.
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monument OPEN FIELD * An area of arable land with common rights after harvest or while fallow. Usually without internal divisions (hedges, walls or fences). back
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 SETTLEMENT * A small concentration of dwellings. 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 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 PIT * A hole or cavity in the ground, either natural or the result of excavation. Use more specific type where known. back
monument PLANNED SETTLEMENT * A settlement built to a pre-determined plan, including housing, infrastructure and associated amenities. back
monument TOWNSHIP * Cluster of dwellings of medieval or later date (Scots) back
monument FIELD SYSTEM * A group or complex of fields which appear to form a coherent whole. Use more specific type where known. back
monument HEDGE * Usually a row of bushes or small trees planted closely together to form a boundary between pieces of land or at the sides of a road. 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