Manless Town

 

 

Site type: DMV

The remains of a medieval settlement and a Roman site can be seen on either side of the Climperwell to Caudle Green road. [1] In 1962 trial trenches were placed across the site to test for remains below the surface. [2] These revealed a range of features including stone walls and rubble surfaces however there has been disagreement over interpretation with the original excavator favouring an interpretation in the Roman period. [2] In 1973/74 the creation of a reservoir did reveal evidence of a Roman quarry and burial, however the walls from the earlier excavation are most likely medieval in date. [2, 3] In 1992 the remaining earthworks were plotted and field walking was undertaken in the ploughed fields. [1] The field walking produced medieval pottery dating to the twelfth to thirteenth centuries as well a range of Roman material. [1] The survey of the earthworks found that there had been disturbance from quarrying and topsoil dumping over the area. A hollow way can be identified running parallel, in part, to the modern road. At least three building platforms are visible along this hollow way. To the east are two more distinct building earthworks, one of which Dyer has interpreted as a sheepcote overlying the remains of the village. [4]

The first reference to this field as Manless Town was in 1622. [5] The settlement has also been recorded as Haywick, Munley Towne, Old Mondley, Longlorn Town and Keywich. [6] It is unclear as to the original name of the settlement, and hence there are no taxation records available. The name Manless would suggest a deserted settlement and local legends would seem to confirm this, but it has also been suggested that the place-name originates from a manorial name. [7] In 1731 a survey map includes the text ‘A patch of Plumb Hey within the ruins of Old Mondley formerly a Market Town and a Roman Station was Sacked and Burnt in the Wars of King John...’. [6] On a ‘Survey of Lands in Brimspfield’ dating to the late eighteenth century a note records ‘stood Longlorn Town, which was destroyed in the reign of King John, then and still traces of Foundations to be seen and it has since that Time been called Manless Town’. [6] In 1779 it is recorded as a hamlet by Samuel Rudder but with the caveat ‘if a place can be called so with no house in it’. [8] He also mentions that the original name for this area was Haywick, the location where a weekly market was held in the reign of Edward III, but the men of the settlement were all killed and since then it has been known as Manless Town. [8] The evidence of a sheepcote suggests that after the site was deserted the area was used as pasture, and perhaps a more mundane fate occurred with a reduction in settlement with increased pasture as happened in other local settlements.

Appears in the Gazetteer of Deserted Medieval Villages known in 1968.

References:
[1] Smith, N. 1998. ‘Manless Town, Brimpsfield: An Archaeological Survey’, Glevensis 31: 53-58.
[2] Wingham, H. and N. Spry 1993. ‘More Recent Views on Manless Town, Brimpsfield SO 928 116’, Glevensis 27: 26-32.
[3] Rawes, B. and E.D. Gander 1978. ‘Ancient Quarry at Manless Town’, Transactions of the Bristol and Gloucestershire Archaeological Society 96: 79-82.
[4] Dyer, C. 1995. ‘Sheepcotes: Evidence for Medieval Sheepfarming’, Medieval Archaeology 39: 136-164.
[5] Jurica, A.R.J. 1981. ‘Brimpsfield’, in N.M. Herbert (ed.) A History of the County of Gloucester. Volume 7: 140-150. Oxford: Oxford University Press: 142.
[6] Newbury, J.R. 1993. ‘Map and Documentary Interpretations in Brimpsfield Parish’, Glevensis 27: 33-35.
[7] Smith, A.H. 1964. The Place-Names of Gloucestershire Part 1. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 147.
[8] Rudder, S. 1779. A New History of Gloucestershire. Cirencester: S Rudder: 310-311.
Pre-1974 county:
Gloucestershire
Historic parish:
Brimpsfield
Present county or unitary area:
Gloucestershire
Modern parish:
Brimpsfield
Grid reference:
SO 928117
Latitude:
51.80389980
Longitude:
-2.10581700

Documentary resources
Domesday reference:
Not recorded
Domesday minimum number of individuals:
Not recorded
Taxation 1291 (main):
Not recorded
Taxation 1291 (portions):
Not recorded
Lay subsidy 1334 total paid:
Not recorded
Poll Tax 1377 number who paid:
No surviving record
Poll Tax 1377 total paid:
No surviving record
Poll Tax 1379 number who paid:
No surviving record
Poll Tax 1379 total paid:
No surviving record
Poll Tax 1381 number who paid:
Not recorded
Poll Tax 1381 total paid:
Not recorded
Lay subsidy 1524 number who paid:
Not recorded
Lay Subsidy 1524 total paid:
Not recorded
Lay Subsidy 1525 number who paid:
Not recorded
Lay Subsidy 1525 total paid:
Not recorded
Lay Subsidy 1543/4 number who paid:
Diocesan returns 1563:
Not recorded
Census 1801 total population:
Not recorded
Census 1841 total population:
Not recorded
Census 1841 inhabited houses:
Not recorded
E179 date and type last doc:
Additional information
Alternative names:
Presumed date of depopulation:
1200-1500
NMR number:
117565
HER number:
GLOS 4689
Investigation history:
1962 Excavation.
1973/74 Excavation.
1992 Survey.
1992-1996 Air Photograph Interpretation.
2002-2006 North Gloucestershire Cotswolds and Forest of Dean NMP.
Cartographic or photographic records:
RAF 106G/UK/1558 3256-7 Taken 7 June 1946.
RAF CPE/UK/1913 4072-3 Taken 30 December 1946.
RAF CPE/UK/2098 4024-5 Taken 28 May 1947.
CUCAP ATZ72-75 Taken 8 April 1968.
CUCAP AUF94-96 Taken 24 April 1968.
CUCAP AWO15-17 Taken 20 January 1969.
NMR SO 9211/1-3, 7-8.
NMR SO 9311/1-7, 10-2.
Wingham, H. and N. Spry 1993. ‘More Recent Views on Manless Town, Brimpsfield SO 928 116’, Glevensis 27: 26-35. Photograph p. 26, 28, Plan p. 29.
Smith, N. 1998. ‘Manless Town, Brimpsfield: An Archaeological Survey’, Glevensis 31: 53-58.Plan p. 55.
Site status:
Scheduled 1405816
x coordinate:
392800
y coordinate:
211700
Bibliography:
Aston, M. and L. Viner 1981. ‘Gloucestershire Deserted Villages’, Glevensis 15: 22-29.
Beresford, M. and J.G. Hurst (eds) 1971. Deserted Medieval Villages. London: Lutterworth.
Newbury, J.R. 1993. ‘Map and Documentary Interpretations in Brimpsfield Parish’, Glevensis 27: 33-35.
Saville, A. 1980. Archaeological Sites in the Avon and Gloucestershire Cotswolds. Bristol: Committee for Rescue Archaeology in Avon, Gloucestershire and Somerset: 19.
Smith, N. 1998. ‘Manless Town, Brimpsfield: An Archaeological Survey’, Glevensis 31: 53-58.
Wingham, H. and N. Spry 1993. ‘More Recent Views on Manless Town, Brimpsfield SO 928 116’, Glevensis 27: 26-32.
See also:
NMR Pastscape
www.pastscape.org.uk/hob.aspx?hob_id=117565
CUCAP Aerial Photographs
www.cambridgeairphotos.com/location/atz74/