Croxton

 

 

Site type: Shifted

The village of Croxton has a complex history, becoming deserted in several stages. The monument as a whole is extremely well preserved and clearly visible in the well preserved remains where both the medieval earthworks and hollow ways survive alongside the subsequent landscape. [1]. Croxton probably had two foci, one to the south of the current village, and one close to the church. [2] The main concentration of earthworks is seen close to the church and in the grounds of Croxton Park. On the enclosure map of 1811, the layout of the park looks somewhat different to later depictions. [3] The whole area is shown to be occupied by several houses and attached gardens and the two principal remains, two hollow ways appear to be streets. In early nineteenth-century depictions of the park, a fish pond has been constructed and the houses have been removed. This coincides with the enlargement of the park. This final stage of emparkment represents the completion of a gradual desertion. On a survey conducted in the 1990s a clear north-south hollow way can be seen running from the church. A number of building platforms are visible on either side. [4]

The second focus is close to the late medieval buildings of Westbury Farm, probably originally moated, and the Manor House. [3] On more recent aerial photography there is the possibility of a number of tofts and crofts aligned along the driveway to the park, along the western side and could be a continuation of the present settlement in this area. The name Westbury for this area may indicate an outlier to the main settlement. [2] The 1990s survey also shows these earthworks and highlights that the documentary history may indicate two separate tenurial units, one at Croxton (the earliest) and one at Westbury. [5]

The settlement is recorded from Domesday onwards and has a sizable population with 118 tax payers in 1377. This was reduced in the sixteenth century to 38 in 1524 and 23 in 1563. However after this there was an upturn in population. [2] Croxton Park house dates to 1761, but may contain elements of an earlier building. [3] To the south of the current extent of Croxton village is the Manor House which is a well preserved example of a late medieval hall. [3] The complex evidence from this site would suggest a shifted settlement, not a deserted one and this is how it has been classed by Oosthuizen. [5] This is also a good example of polyfocal settlement perhaps, never having a clearly nucleated centre. [4] The inhabitants resident in the park were gradually cleared to the north by the 1820s. [4]

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

References:
[1] Cambridgshire HER Record No. 02354.
[2] Stephens, W.B. 1973. 'Croxton', in C.R. Elrington (ed.) A History of the County of Cambridge and the Isle of Ely. Volume 5: 36-46. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
[3] RCHME. 1968. An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in the County of Cambridgeshire: Volume I. West Cambridgeshire. London: RCHME: 63-71.
[4] Brown, A.E and C.C. Taylor 1993. ‘Cambridgeshire Earthwork Surveys VI’, Proceedings of the Cambridge Antiquarian Society 82: 101-111.
[5] Oosthuizen, S. 2009. ‘The Deserted Medieval Settlements of Cambridgeshire: A Gazetteer’, Medieval Settlement Research 24: 14-19.
Pre-1974 county:
Cambridgeshire
Historic parish:
Croxton
Present county or unitary area:
Cambridgeshire
Modern parish:
Croxton
Grid reference:
TL 252593
Latitude:
52.21770662
Longitude:
-0.16873982

Documentary resources
Domesday reference:
CAMB 26,43. 39,2. Appx L
Domesday minimum number of individuals:
23
Taxation 1291 (main):
4000
Taxation 1291 (portions):
400 (St Neots Priory) 60 (St Marys Priory)
Lay subsidy 1334 total paid:
2040
Poll Tax 1377 number who paid:
118
Poll Tax 1377 total paid:
472
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:
38
Lay Subsidy 1524 total paid:
971
Lay Subsidy 1525 number who paid:
35
Lay Subsidy 1525 total paid:
928
Lay Subsidy 1543/4 number who paid:
27
Diocesan returns 1563:
25
Census 1801 total population:
171 (Parish)
Census 1841 total population:
264 (Parish)
Census 1841 inhabited houses:
44
E179 date and type last doc:
1678 March 20 act for raising money by a poll.
Additional information
Alternative names:
Presumed date of depopulation:
NMR number:
366049
HER number:
CAMB 02354
Investigation history:
1971 Field Visit.
1982 Field Visit.
1990s Survey.
Cartographic or photographic records:
CUCAP PN76-80 Taken 13 April 1955.
CUCAP AMX41-47 Taken 30 January 1966.
CUCAP ARH66-68 Taken 16 May 1967.
CUCAP AZX45 Taken 5 November 1969.
CUCAP BLA38-43 Taken 23 November 1972.
CUCAP BLP93-94 Taken 31 January 1973.
CUCAP CHX1-7 Taken 3 January 1979.
CUCAP 70kN27-28 Taken 9 December 1981.
Brown, A.E and C.C. Taylor 1993. ‘Cambridgeshire Earthwork Surveys VI’, Proceedings of the Cambridge Antiquarian Society 82: 101-111. p. 102 plan, p. 104 enclosure map.
RCHME. 1968. An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in the County of Cambridgeshire: Volume I. West Cambridgeshire. London: RCHME: 63-71. p. 64 plan.
Site status:
Scheduled 1006783
x coordinate:
525200
y coordinate:
259300
Bibliography:
Beresford, M.W. and J.G. Hurst (eds) 1971. Deserted Medieval Villages. London: Lutterworth.

Brown, A.E. and C.C. Taylor 1993. ‘Cambridgeshire Earthwork Surveys VI’, Proceedings of the Cambridge Antiquarian Society 82: 101-111.

Oosthuizen, S. 2009. ‘The Deserted Medieval Settlements of Cambridgeshire: A Gazetteer’, Medieval Settlement Research 24: 14-19.
See also:
NMR Pastscape
www.pastscape.org.uk/hob.aspx?hob_id=366049
Open Domesday
www.domesdaymap.co.uk/place/TL2559/croxton/
CUCAP Aerial Photographs
www.cambridgeairphotos.com/location/amx43/