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Monument record MDR2626 - Lower Thurvaston: Medieval Settlement and Open Field System

Type and Period (7)

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SK 23123717 Lower Thurvaston, House Platforms? Possible house platform identified by D. Farnsworth on an AP. (1-3) (Scheduling Notification) DESCRIPTION OF THE MONUMENT The monument includes the earthwork and buried remains of the abandoned areas of Lower Thurvaston medieval settlement and part of the open field system. The monument is situated on a south facing slope which runs down towards the currently inhabited area of Lower Thurvaston. Lower Thurvaston is first mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086. At this time the village was in the possession of Henry de Ferieres, the lord of Longueville in Normandy, who was the largest landholder in Derbyshire. Elfin, an Englishman, held the manor for the lord. The village was called Torverdestune and is listed in the Domesday Book with Budedune (now known as Bupton) where they were valued at twenty shillings. It is recorded that there was enough agricultural land for one plough team (eight oxen) , twenty acres of meadow and a little underwood. A sunken road runs north east to south west through the monument and forms the focus of the settlement remains. The road (Thurvaston Lane) serves as the main communication link between Thurvaston and Lower Thurvaston. The position of the settlement remains along the east and west sides of the road indicates that it was linear in design. This pattern is reflected in the layout of the currently inhabited area of the village to the south of the monument. At the northern end of the monument and to the west of the sunken road is a large terraced platform measuring approximately 100m north east to south west and 50m north west to south east. The platform is subdivided by ditches into four enclosures measuring approximately 50m by 25m. The dividing ditches are 10m wide and survive to a depth of 0.5m. Abutting the terrace on its northern edge and running north west from Thurvaston Lane across the monument is a second sunken track. The trackway survives to a depth of approximately 1m and is lined by hedqerows. The trackway follows the line of the modern field boundary and continues to the north western edge of the monument. The curve of the field boundary in the shape of an elongated reverse 'S' is a common feature of boundaries which follow the line of medieval ridge ridge and furrow. Clearly defined ridge and furrow running north south survives to the south of the sunken track and adjacent to the platform.To the west and north of the scheduling the ridge and furrow runs east west and is visible only as soil marks on aerial photographs. It would appear that the second sunken track formed a back lane which provided access to these fields. Approximately 100m to the south of the platform and adjacent to Thurvaston Lane are two large rectangular features. The northernmost example is sunken, measuring approximately 20m by 26m, and is situated at a kink in the road where the bank of Thurvaston Lane is less pronounced than elsewhere. It is possible it was accessible directly from the road. Post-medieval quarrying activity has disturbed this feature. The second rectangular area measures approximately 33m by 24m. Again this is evident as a large sunken area but at its western end is a clearly defined platform measuring approximately 19m by 4m. The platform survives to a height of about 1.5m above the sunken area and is defined on its northern and western edges by a shallow gully. Its southern and eastern sides drop directly into the sunken area. The platform is interpreted as the site of a medieval building or croft, with the banks which define the platform representing the buried remains of walls. To the east of Thurvaston Lane and approximately 10m south of Mount Farm is a large oval shaped sunken area. The depression, which is interpreted as a pond, survives to a depth of approximately 0.5m at its southern end and is now dry. The northern end has been dug out to recreate a pond. Approximately 10m to the south west of the pond is a large rectangular platform defined by low banks and ditches which survive to a height of 0.5m. The platform is interpreted as the site of another medieval building with the banks representing the buried remains of walls. The bank defining the southern edge of the building platform continues in an easterly direction for approximately 70m, where it forms the northern boundary of a large rectangular enclosure and eventually links to an area of ridge and furrow. Some disturbance of this bank is evident at its eastern end where parts have been levelled to allow access for farm machinery. Between the building platform and Thurvaston Lane is an irregularly shaped sunken area. This survives to a depth of 0.5m, extends to the south for approximately 80m, and contains two low mounds. Some post-medieval quarrying activity has disturbed the earthworks but the remains indicate that this was originally a sunken track possibly providing access to the building from the main village street. The enclosure to the south east of the building platform measures approximately 65m by 35m and has a relatively flat interior. Further enclosures of similar form are evident in the field to the east of Mount Farm but here the earthworks are less clearly defined. It would appear that this area of pasture has been improved and this has resulted in the slight degradation of the earthworks. The remainder of the monument includes the well preserved remains of the medieval open field system. The surviving remains are visible as parts of seven furlongs (groups of lands or cultivation strips) marked by headlands. The cultivation strips collectively form ridge and furrow which is curved in the shape of an elongated reverse 'S'. The field remains survive to a height of 0.3m. The area of ridge and furrow to the south of Mount Farm and south of the large enclosure is interrupted by a deep, sub-triangular pond. This is now dry. In recent years it has acted as a sump for drainage from the cow shed to the north. (4)

Sources/Archives (4)

  • <1> Index: TPAT. 2614. 2614.
  • <2> Aerial Photograph: DCC Planning Dept AP 13/383.
  • <3> Bibliographic reference:
  • <4> Scheduling record: English Heritage. 1999. Scheduling Notification: Lower Thurvaston. 29941.



Grid reference SK 23097 37095 (point)

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Record last edited

Jun 8 2012 2:25PM

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