BURTON COGGLES

SK 982257

 

As explained in the introduction, the archaeology of gardens is a relatively recent field of study (1). This is especially true in relation to comparatively small manorial sites, into which category a number of apparent moated sites belong (2). Amongst sites examined to date, certain characteristic features occur, such as the long mounds either prospect mounds or raised terraces, which can be seen at Burton Coggles. On the last 6 Ordnance Survey map (pre-1930 revision) there is a manor house marked further west at SK 978256 (Fig 84). On eighteenth century maps (3) the Hall is shown as a massive H-plan building, suggestive of sixteenth or seventeenth century construction, and the present farmhouse, situated closer to the churchyard, appears to be no earlier than the 18th century. The earthworks surveyed lie almost 200 metres east of the former Hall, which lay to the east of the church. The ground, including both pasture and farmyard, slopes eastwards from the house to a small stream, from a height of 76 metres down to about 68 metres OD (Fig 85). The main surviving features are a pair of two metre high banks which partly enclose a subrectangular area of at least 22,000 square metres immediately above the stream (Fig 85). These substantial banks extend northwards for about 90 metres, to disappear into the present farm yard. The aerial photograph shown (Pl XII), although taken at a slight distance from the site shows that in fact the banks enclose a pentagonal area which could have been viewed sloping away the north-east side of the house. A rectangular ditched area showing faintly south of the farm buildings, may be this original house site. Slightly to the east of the buildings is yet another earth bank, similar to two at Lenton. Below the embanked garden area one aerial photograph also shows a mark which can be interpreted as a rectangular pond. There are a few slight earthworks visible from the ground within the main enclosure which were not obvious on the ground at the time of survey. There is a more or less centrally placed gap of 20 metres between the two most pronounced banks, apparently levelled for modern field access although the gap may be positioned over an original access. On the east and south-east there is a smaller outer bank less than one metre high. This evidently once extended the full length of the inner one, although now only slight traces remain on the west and south-west. The ground between the two banks is flattened rather than level, as if intended as a walking area ; it is up to 15 metres wide near the north-eastern end but only five metres wide on the south-western end above the stream. To the south-west there is now a dry ditch.

Detailed representations of garden features would not necessarily be depicted on eighteenth century maps and one cannot necessarily assume that the gardens had been abandoned at the time the map was made (only one of the two maps is dated), although this is a possibility. Formal gardens had a long period of popularity, and may have continued in use until the early 18th century. The relevant field names, Hall Close and Paddock, which remained in use into the nineteenth century, appear to confirm the association with the hall and its grounds.

 

1. C. C. Taylor, The Archaeology of Gardens, Princes Risborough 1983, 6.

 

2. C. C. Taylor, The Archaeology of Gardens, Princes Risborough 1983, 56.

 

3. LAO, 2 Cragg 2/2/12 and 2/2/13.

 

4. LAO, Tithe Award 1838 E 40.