Clopton

 

 

Site type: DMV

Earthworks of the village are still visible to the north of the cluster of modern farm buildings. While many of these features are clearly defined, more than half of the village’s 33 acre extent has been destroyed through various means. [1, 2] During the Second World War some of the fields were ploughed, destroying what archaeology remained. [1] This also spread the earthwork profiles so that it is difficult to carry out effective surveying. Today, the field is used as permanent pasture. Other factors affecting the preservation of the village include, quarrying, coprolite mining and military exercises such as machine-gun range targeting and trenching. [1]

Features still visible today include a number of hollow ways, boundary ditches and to the south of the main settlement evidence of a small rectangular moated site. The remains are connected by four separate wide-sweeping hollow ways running east to west, north-east to south, south-east to east and west to north. Orientated around these ‘roads’ were four principal sites namely, a church, a mill, a number of house sites and fish ponds. [2, 3] Excavations took place between 1960 and 1964 carried out by J. Alexander of Cambridge University. The excavations revealed that there were three main areas containing house platforms associated with cobbled surfaces and pottery, and some Roman to Late Saxon and thirteenth to sixteenth century-sherds. [3] Excavations on the church in 1964 established the actual structure, tiled floors, roof and glazed windows and that it was probably destroyed around the seventeenth century. [3] Over 100 burials were also uncovered. [3] Alexander concluded that the settlement reached it final form in the thirteenth century. [3]

The village of Clopton is sometimes also known as Clapton. [1] First recorded in 1086 with a minimum population of 18, there are substantial fourteenth-century tax records with 104 tax payers in 1377. There was a market in the thirteenth century, but this declined in the later middle ages. From c.1495 there is evidence the land was undergoing enclosure by John Fisher when he acquired the estate. Final depopulation and enclosure occurred between 1500-1518. [1, 4, 5] A total of 6 people paid the Lay Subsidy in 1524 and only a single person was recorded in the Diocesan Return of 1563.

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

References:
[1] RCHME. 1968. An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in the County of Cambridgeshire: Volume I. West Cambridgeshire. London: RCHME: 71 - 79.
[2] NMR Pastscape Record No. 368524.
[3] Alexander, J.A. 1968. ‘Clopton: the Life-Cycle of a Cambridgeshire Village’, in L.M. Munby (ed.) East Anglian Studies: 48-70. Cambridge: Heffer and Sons.
[4] Oosthuizen, S. 2009. ‘The Deserted Medieval Settlements of Cambridgeshire: A Gazetteer’, Medieval Settlement Research 24: 14-19.
[5] Palmer, W.M. 1933. ‘A History of Clopton, Cambridgeshire’, Proceedings of the Cambridge Antiquarian Society 33: 3-65.
Pre-1974 county:
Cambridgeshire
Historic parish:
Croydon
Present county or unitary area:
Cambridgeshire
Modern parish:
Croydon
Grid reference:
TL 302488
Latitude:
52.12219998
Longitude:
-0.09961507

Documentary resources
Domesday reference:
CAMB 2,2. 25,4. 32,9
Domesday minimum number of individuals:
18
Taxation 1291 (main):
2400 (with East Hatley)
Taxation 1291 (portions):
Not recorded
Lay subsidy 1334 total paid:
1260 (with East Hatley)
Poll Tax 1377 number who paid:
104 (with East Hatley)
Poll Tax 1377 total paid:
416 (with East Hatley)
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:
6
Lay Subsidy 1524 total paid:
140
Lay Subsidy 1525 number who paid:
No surviving record
Lay Subsidy 1525 total paid:
No survivng record
Lay Subsidy 1543/4 number who paid:
No surviving record
Diocesan returns 1563:
1
Census 1801 total population:
208 (Craydon with) (Parish)
Census 1841 total population:
441 (Croydon with) (Parish)
Census 1841 inhabited houses:
92
E179 date and type last doc:
1678 March 20 act for raising money by a poll.
Additional information
Alternative names:
Clapton
Presumed date of depopulation:
1500-1520
NMR number:
368524
HER number:
CAMB 01216h
Investigation history:
1960-64 Excavations.
Cartographic or photographic records:
CUCAP SH46-47 Taken 8 April 1956.
CUCAP UJ32-33 Taken 13 April 1957.
CUCAP WH83-4 Taken 3 June 1958.
CUCAP AFJ1-4 Taken 13 June 1962.
CUCAP AMO91-94 Taken 6 December 1965.
CUCAP ANY29-30 Taken 16 May 1966.
CUCAP BLA17-19 Taken 23 November 1972.
CUCAP BLD75-79 Taken 25 November 1972.
CUCAP BMA78-81 Taken 26 March 1973.
CUCAP 70H-J31-34 Taken 23 October 1973.
CUCAP BPM92-94 Taken 16 April 1974.
CUCAP BRN93-98 Taken 15 November 1974.
CUCAP BSG32-36 Taken 9 April 1975.
CUCAP BUN19-21 Taken 26 January 1976.
CUCAP CLO25-28 Taken 5 May 1980.
CUCAP 35kCF029-30 Taken 10 February 1981.
Alexander, J.A. 1968. ‘Clopton: the Life-Cycle of a Cambridgeshire Village’, in L.M. Munby (ed.) East Anglian Studies: 48-70. Cambridge: Heffer and Sons. Plan p. 49. Photograph p. 64.
RCHME. 1968. An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in the County of Cambridgeshire: Volume I. West Cambridgeshire. London: RCHME. Plate 73, pp. 77-78 plans.
Survey Plan Medieval Village Research Group Archive: measured drawings. Historic England Archive 620494.
Site status:
Scheduled 1006883
x coordinate:
530200
y coordinate:
248800
Bibliography:
Alexander, J.A. 1968. ‘Clopton: the Life-Cycle of a Cambridgeshire Village’, in L.M. Munby (ed.) East Anglian Studies: 48-70. Cambridge: Heffer and Sons.

Beresford, M.W. 1954. The Lost Villages of England. London: Lutterworth Press: 343.

Beresford, M.W. and J.G. Hurst (eds) 1971. Deserted Medieval Villages. London: Lutterworth.

Driver, l. 2006. The Lost Villages of England. London: New Holland: 83-85.

Oosthuizen, S. 2009. ‘The Deserted Medieval Settlements of Cambridgeshire: A Gazetteer’, Medieval Settlement Research 24: 14-19.

Palmer, W.M. 1933. ‘A History of Clopton, Cambridgeshire’, Proceedings of the Cambridge Antiquarian Society 33: 3-65.
See also:
NMR Pastscape www.pastscape.org.uk/hob.aspx?hob_id=368524
Open Domesday
www.domesdaymap.co.uk/place/TL3048/clopton/
CUCAP Aerial Photographs
www.cambridgeairphotos.com/location/afj3/