The Medieval Earthworks of Rutland

By Robert F Hartley.

This is a revised and expanded survey of the Medieval Earthworks of Rutland first published in 1983. Each site has again been studied on the ground and from air photographs, more locations added and existing plans and text improved. Detailed surveys of individual sites are included and it will be of interest not only to archaeological professionals working in planning, excavation and academia, but also to those with an interest in the development of the medieval village and county residents who wish to find out more about the previous location of buildings for village research. 133 pages, 86 village plans, 17 landscape maps. 5 colour illustrations. ISBN 978-0-9548200-4-6 

Finding History in the fields of England’s Smallest County by Susan Kilby

Rutland is well known for its beautiful stone-built villages, and now a new book sheds light on hidden details of their history. In dozens of fields across the little county there is evidence of abandoned cottages and old lanes, medieval moated sites, fish ponds, deer parks and formal gardens. The clues lie in “humps and bumps” in the fields, where these features were abandoned, but never ploughed away.

Lifelong archaeologist (and former museum curator) Fred Hartley has been studying these sites for more than forty years. He said “I published a report on these earthworks in 1983, and over the years since then I have often returned to Rutland and added more bits of information. In the weird “lockdown” summer of 2020, when we were confined to our homes, I set up my drawing board in the garden shed and began to draw up new plans”.  

The new book, “The Medieval Earthworks of Rutland”, has surveys of some 90 sites across the county, and plans of the old field systems of every village. “It has been a labour of love.” says Hartley, “To walk across these fields is to feel history beneath your feet, and it is amazing to think that some of the deserted villages were probably abandoned as a result of a previous Pandemic – the Black Death of 1348!”

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