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CHER Number:01216
Type of record:Monument
Name:Deserted Village of Clopton (site of)

Summary

Earthworks interpreted as a deserted medieval village

Grid Reference:TL 30 48
Parish:Croydon, South Cambridgeshire, Cambridgeshire

Monument Type(s):

Associated Finds:

  • SHERD (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)

Associated Events:

  • Excavation of Saint Mary's Church, Clopton DMV

Protected Status:

  • Scheduled Monument 1006883: Deserted village of Clapton (site of) N of Croydon House

Full description

R1, Medieval village of Clopton (site of) (NR).

R2, Deserted medieval village, ridge and furrow. (A Spedding 06/10/1983 CUCAP AP BMA 80 used for DMV).

R11, The shrunken parish of Clopton ... may stand as typical of those whose falling revenue from fees was making them unattractive to incumbents in the late C16.

R12, There was ... disagreement between incumbents and Lord of the Manor at Clopton ... depopulated by John Fisher between 1500 and 1518. The encloser had bought out and ejected the occupiers of the common arable strips, but there remained the glebe strips, scattered among them. This enabled him to put the parson in a double difficulty: the petition (...) to Wolsey explains this: "the said glebe he can in no wise occupy in tillage ... as the residue of the said lands in the fields be laid to pasture, and if he should sow the glebe lands it would have been destroyed by cattle, and if he put in any cattle on his glebe lands they not abide upon it because there are hedges, and no defence made between the grounds of your said orator and the ground of the farmers, for the fields have always time out of mind laid open." The 'farmers' were Robt Morgan and Robt Brockwell to whom Fisher had leased the pastures. There had been a similar dispute about 1500 between Fisher and the previous incumbent, and it is not possible to say whether the whole depopulating enclosure had taken place so early. (An Inquisition of1511 into the lands of Fisher's son names a number of messuages, but in the fashion of Inquisitions post mortem of that century does not make clear whether the messuages lay in Clopton or in the neighbouring villages where he also held property.) Fisher was a London lawyer who had bought the parish from the Clopton family in1489 and then followed his advantage.

R16 Clopton, mentioned in Domesday book ... and 1517.

O3, The earthworks of the village survive much as shown by RCHM (R14) but, as this is a reduction of a much larger original, it contains more fine detail than the AO 25in survey. Within the large quarry is a short bank and ditch, the remains of a machine-gun range target, and trenches. The field to the immediate W although now permanent pasture, was ploughed during the 1939 - 1945 war, spreading the profiles of the earthwork therein and rendering them unsurveyable. Description of remains by R14 correct.

O5, The S part of the site lies in a flattish area to N of Croydon House, climbing steeply to the N across the 76m contour line. The whole site is under pasture, with the exception of the SW projection which is under arable. Earthworks are extensive, presenting features in many cases over 1m in height. These are difficult to interpret, as village was presumably terraced into the hillside. Several ponds or depressions noted. To SW a pond filled with old tree roots and N of this a strong rectangular moated site, interior platform approx 32m by 25m with a 1m deep ditch 2m wide. Manor House? (See RN 01216b) A short bank runs from W - E across SE area, wet area fringed with old willows. A dry stream or hollow way leads into this wet area from the N. To the S of the scheduled area, ridge and furrow is fairly well preserved with strong S curve against a low bank, possibly the village boundary bank.

O7, Site houses the largest badger set in Cambridgeshire, however it appears that this is situated in a C19 coprolite mine in the centre of the site. See R14 for details.
See also RN 01216a - chapel, RN 01216b - moat, RN 01216c - moat, RN 01216d - pillow mound, RN 01216e - pottery (Ro), RN 01216f - pottery (Medieval), RN 01216g - pottery (AS), RN 01216h - pottery (Post Medieval), RN 01216i - earthworks (Mod).

Sources and further reading

---Digital archive: 1995. Monuments Protection Programme Database (printout for SMV's).
---Aerial Photograph: Wilson, S.. 2010. Aerial photograph of Clopton deserted medieval settlement.. TL30144881.
R1Article in monograph: Alexander, J.A.. 1968. Clopton: the life-cycle of a Cambridgeshire village. In East Anglian studies, Munby, LM (ed), 48-70.
R2Aerial Photograph:
R2Aerial Photograph:
R3Bibliographic reference: Elrington, C.R (ed.). 1982. The Victoria County History of Cambridgeshire and the Isle of Ely. Volume 8. 30, 34 ff.
R4Article in serial: Palmer, W.. 1933. A History of Clopton, Cambridgeshire. PCAS 33: 3-60.
R5Article in serial: Wilson, D.M. and Hurst, D.G.. 1961. Medieval Britain in 1960: Med Arch 5: 309-39. p. 334.
R7Article in serial: Wilson, D.M. and Hurst, D.G.. 1962. Medieval Britain in 1961: Med Arch 6-7: 306-49. p. 341.
R8Article in serial: Hurst, D.G.. 1965. Medieval Britain in 1964. II. Post-Conquest. Med Arch 9: 179-220. p. 170, 208.
R9Bibliographic reference: Beresford, M. and Hurst, J.G.. 1971. Deserted Medieval Villages. 151, 184.
R10Aerial Photograph:
R11Bibliographic reference: Beresford, M.. 1954. The Lost Villages of England. p. 310 - 1.
R12Bibliographic reference: Beresford, M.. 1954. The Lost Villages of England. p. 325 - 6.
R13Bibliographic reference: DMV Research Group 12.
R14Bibliographic reference: RCHM. 1968. An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in the County of Cambridgeshire. Volume I. West Cambridgeshire. 71 - 79 (ill).
R15Map: 1960. OS 6 inch map.
R16Bibliographic reference: Oosthuizen, S.. 1985. Lost, deserted and shifted settlements in South Cambridgeshire c 1000 - 1850 AD: A Gazetteer.
R18Bibliographic reference: Beresford, M.. 1954. The Lost Villages of England. p, 343 - 4.
<19>Unpublished document: Alexander, J.. 1961. Clopton, Cambs, 1960 & 1961.