Upton

 

 

Site type: DMV

The earthworks of Upton are located to the east and north of Lambs’ Cottage. A possible nine crofts are visible to the north and south of the line of the valley. A number of house platforms are located in these crofts and positioned near the central valley area. [1] To the east are further building platforms. The entire settlement seems to be demarcated by stone banks at the back of the crofts. At least 27 buildings have been suggested across the site with one situated outside the main settlement interpreted as a possible sheepcote. [1, 2] The site was excavated between 1959 and 1968. This evidence suggests the number of structures is probably greater than 27 as a single earthwork may hide a number of structures. [3]. The excavation concentrated on a building complex at the centre of the site. [1, 3] This revealed a series of stone buildings focused around two separate longhouses which expanded and were adapted over time, preceded by timber structures. [1, 3] During excavation Roman material was discovered suggesting earlier occupation in the area. [1] It is suggested that the main building phases are later twelfth to fourteenth century. Only a handful of finds can be dated to the fifteenth century and are nothing more than indications of people walking across the site. [1] In 1973 a number of trenches were excavated across the site to improve the water supply. [4] A watching brief conducted at the time recorded 49 features, including some that are not visible on the earthwork plan of the site, as well as buildings outside the core of the settlement. [4]

Upton was part of the large Blockley estate of the Bishop of Worcester. [1] Upton is first mentioned in a land dispute in 897. [1] By the thirteenth century Upton was favoured for its pasture with in 1299 pasture for 500 wethers (male sheep) – the highest recorded in the manor that year. [1] However the population in this period was also rising. In 1275 11 paid the Lay Subsidy, although their contribution was low. [1] In 1327 eight people are taxed. [1] By 1332-3 only four people are taxed showing at this point the decline had begun. [1] By 1334 Upton was now recorded with Blockley. A number of accounts for the manor of Blockley from 1383-4 do not include Upton, and the only mention of it was the lord of the manor paying the Lay Subsidy suggesting there was no-one else left in the village to pay. [1] Much of the manor of Blockley was increasingly used in this period as the main pasture ground for the flocks of the Bishops of Worcester. [1]

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

References:
[1] Hilton, R.H. and P.A. Rahtz 1966. ‘Upton, Gloucestershire, 1959-1964’, Transactions of the Bristol and Gloucestershire Archaeological Society 85: 70-146.
[2] Dyer, C. 1995. ‘Sheepcotes: Evidence for Medieval Sheepfarming’, Medieval Archaeology 39: 136-164.
[3] Rahtz, P.A. 1969. ‘Upton, Glos., 1964-68’, Transactions of the Bristol and Gloucestershire Archaeological Society 88: 74-126.
[4] Watts, L. and P. Rahtz 1984. ‘Upton Deserted Medieval Village, Blockley, Gloucestershire, 1973’, Transactions of the Bristol and Gloucestershire Archaeological Society 102: 141-154.
Pre-1974 county:
Gloucestershire
Historic parish:
Blockley
Present county or unitary area:
Gloucestershire
Modern parish:
Blockley
Grid reference:
SP 152344
Latitude:
52.00783920
Longitude:
-1.77995675

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:
684 (Blockley and)
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:
No surviving record
Poll Tax 1381 total paid:
No surviving record
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:
376 (Tything)
Census 1841 total population:
758 (Tything)
Census 1841 inhabited houses:
158
E179 date and type last doc:
1624 May 13 or later three fifteenths and tenths
Additional information
Alternative names:
Presumed date of depopulation:
1350-1390
NMR number:
330652
HER number:
GLOS 2736
Investigation history:
1959-68 Excavation.
1973 Watching Brief.
2004 North Gloucestershire Cotswolds and Forest of Dean NMP.
Cartographic or photographic records:
RAF CPE/UK/1929 3106-7 Taken 16 January 1947.
NMR SP 1534/1 (15151/06) Taken 28 July 1994.
NMR SP 1534/14 (18998/35) Taken 3 November 2000.
Hilton, R.H. and P.A. Rahtz 1966. ‘Upton, Gloucestershire, 1959-1964’, Transactions of the Bristol and Gloucestershire Archaeological Society 85: 70-146. Plan p. 87, 94.
Rahtz, P.A. 1969. ‘Upton, Glos., 1964-68’, Transactions of the Bristol and Gloucestershire Archaeological Society 88: 74-126. Plan p. 84, 94.
Watts, L. and P. Rahtz 1984. ‘Upton Deserted Medieval Village, Blockley, Gloucestershire, 1973’, Transactions of the Bristol and Gloucestershire Archaeological Society 102: 141-154. Plan p. 142.
Site status:
Not Scheduled
x coordinate:
415200
y coordinate:
234400
Bibliography:
Aston, M. and L. Viner 1981. ‘Gloucestershire Deserted Villages’, Glevensis 15: 22-29.
Beresford, M. 1954. The Lost Villages of England. London: Lutterworth Press: 351.
Beresford, M. and J.G. Hurst (eds) 1971. Deserted Medieval Villages. London: Lutterworth.
Hilton, R.H. and P.A. Rahtz 1966. ‘Upton, Gloucestershire, 1959-1964’, Transactions of the Bristol and Gloucestershire Archaeological Society 85: 70-146.
Rahtz, P.A. 1969. ‘Upton, Glos., 1964-68’, Transactions of the Bristol and Gloucestershire Archaeological Society 88: 74-126.
Saville, A. 1980. Archaeological Sites in the Avon and Gloucestershire Cotswolds. Bristol: Committee for Rescue Archaeology in Avon, Gloucestershire and Somerset: 19.
Watts, L. and P. Rahtz 1984. ‘Upton Deserted Medieval Village, Blockley, Gloucestershire, 1973’, Transactions of the Bristol and Gloucestershire Archaeological Society 102: 141-154.
See also:
NMR Pastscape
www.pastscape.org.uk/hob.aspx?hob_id=330652