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Monument record MDR3497 - Deserted Medieval village, Conksbury, Over Haddon

Type and Period (1)

Protected Status/Designation

Full Description

SK 210655. Village complex (? Domesday Book Chranchesberie). The lands were held by Augustinian Abbey of Leicester until the dissolution. (1,4). Small enclosures visible on aerial photographs 540/568 3076-7, 28 Jul 1951. (2). Earthworks comprising a street, small enclosures, and a few steadings surveyed at 1/2500. The oldest house at Conksbury situated at SK 20976561 is mid 17th century, incorporating remains of an earlier building. (3). Conksbury deserted medieval settlement became a scheduled monument on the 13th may 1996. It is situated above Lathkill Dale in the central uplands of the limestone plateau of Derbyshire. The monument includes the core area of the settlement. Further remains, including those of a medieval mill, are believed to survive nearby but have not been included in the scheduling as their precise location is unknown. The settlement site is visible as a complex of earthworks and modified natural features flanking a 10m wide road. The road forms an S-shape through the settlement from south to north. It enters the settlement from the south, forming a crossroads with the current road known as Back Lane. It ends at the north end of the settlement below a large rectangular platform. This platform, which is largely natural, is the site of a number of faint earthworks indicative of a large building. It is not clear what this building was but its size and location at the head of the settlement suggest either a prestigious farmhouse or, alternatively, a barn or granary. In addition to the road and the building, the visible remains of the settlement include several small enclosures and building platforms marking the sites of houses and ancillary buildings such as outhouses and workshops. Some of the enclosures are the crofts relating to house sites, whereas others will have been used as stock pens. In some parts of the settlement, particularly towards the north end, the enclosures utilise lines of outcropping rock to create natural boundaries which will have been followed by walls and fences. The remains of all buildings on the site, together with those of other structures such as walls and fences, will survive as buried and rock-cut features throughout the whole of the monument. The settlement was already in existence in the Anglo-Saxon period and is recorded in the Domesday survey of 1086 as Cranchesberie, one of seven outlying hamlets (berewicks) in the royal manor of Bakewell. In 1086 it consisted of three or four peasant households with extensive meadows in the area to the west known as Meadow Place. Following the Domesday survey, the manor of Bakewell was granted by King William I to his kinsman William Peverel. Peverel's former lands at Conksbury were held in the 12th century by one Avenal of Haddon who gave all of Meadow Place to the priory which Peverel had founded in the early 12th century. Conksbury itself (recorded as Conkersberie or Conkysbyry) was later granted to the Abbey of St Mary de Pre or de Pratis at Leicester by Avenal's son, William Avenal. The gift also included Conksbury mill, the cliff on the other side of the water and twenty acres of ploughland at Haddon. Lands gifted to religious foundations were not infrequently leased back to the grantor and the Avenals of Haddon may have remained at both Conksbury and Meadow Place as tenants, perhaps following the confiscation of their main estates in the late 12th century. If this is the case, the likelihood of there having been a prestigious house at Conksbury is increased. Documents referring to tenants and rights of free warren indicate that Leicester Abbey purchased or leased Meadow Place from Lenton Priory in the 13th century. The abbey retained both Conksbury and Meadow Place until 1539 - 1540 when the lands passed to the Crown with the dissolution of Leicester Abbey. In 1552 both were sold to Sir William Cavendish and in 1610 were sold by Henry Cavendish to his brother William Lord Cavendish. Conksbury thus became the property first of the Earls then of the Dukes of Devonshire until sold again into private hands. (6). Photographic record. (7). Site monitoring has been carried out and site appears not to be under threat. (8)

Sources/Archives (8)

  • <1> Bibliographic reference: Bulmer, T and Co.. 1895. History, Topography and Directory of Derbyshire. p506.
  • <2> Article in serial: Makepeace, G & Butcher, L. 1962. East Midlands Archaeology Bulletin, 1962.
  • <3> Personal Observation: F1 BHS 24-MAY-66.
  • <4> Index: OS. SK 26 NW 34. SK 26 NW 34.
  • <5> Index: NDAT. 1672. 1672.
  • <6> Scheduling record: English Heritage. 1996. Scheduling Notification. 27225. Cat. No.: 368.
  • <7> Photograph: Peak District National Park Authority (PDNPA). Slide Collection. 11416.1-13.
  • <8> Unpublished document: Mason, F (PDNPA). 2008. Scheduled Monument Monitoring Form: Conksbury Deserted Medieval Settlement.



Grid reference Centred SK 210 655 (231m by 267m) (Centre)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (2)

  • EDR3221
  • EDR1361

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Record last edited

Nov 12 2014 2:43PM

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