Monument record MLI43566 - The settlement of Maidenwell


The settlement of Maidenwell dates from the late Anglo-Saxon period, as it was present at Domesday, and survives as a hamlet. It became depopulated during the late Middle Ages.

Type and Period (2)

Protected Status/Designation

Full Description

A good clear deserted medieval village site, part of which is scheduled, with typical sunken roadways and house enclosures. The village occurs in the tax list of 1334, had 25 taxpayers in 1377, had fewer than 10 households in 1428 and was united to Farforth parish in 1450 (or in 1592). The site was possibly deserted in the second half of the 15th century. {1}{2}{3} A large area of medieval field banks is visible and can be seen in aerial photographs. {4}{5}{6}{7} Medieval tofts, crofts were seen in aerial photographs and recorded by the National Mapping Programme to the east of the present hamlet. {8} The settlement of Maidenwell in Loutheske wapentake is first mentioned in Domesday Book where it is recorded as Welle with three manors held by different people but all held of Hugh, the Earl of Chester. The land associated with these manors included meadow and woodland as well as a salt pan. The saltpan would have been further east closer to the coast as it would have needed access to sea water. In 1086 there was a minimum population of 14. The settlement is not specifically mentioned in the Lindsey Survey of 1115 but was probably included under Tathwell in the Loutheske wapentake holdings of Richard, Earl of Chester (heir of Hugh of Chester). This Domesday land holding can be traced to the Book of Fees in 1212 where the fee is found in the possession of Alan de Boydell whose antecedents were granted the fee by Richard, Earl of Chester. {9}{10} Maidenwell takes its name from a spring (Welle) with the prefix maiden, a young unmarried lady, thus meaning 'maidens' spring'. The significance of the name is not known. {11} In 1334 Maidenwell was assessed at £1 7s.2d. in the Lay Subsidy returns. This was just less than 40% of the average assessment for the wapentake. So the settlement was relatively poor although the adjacent settlements of Farforth (£1 0s.6d.) and Ruckland (18s.) had even lower assessments. {12} In the 1377 Poll Tax returns Maidenwell is recorded with 25 taxpayers and so was still larger than Farforth (22 taxpayers) and Ruckland (also 22 taxpayers). {13} There was a medieval church at Maidenwell although its exact location is uncertain. There are references in the Bishop of Lincoln's Rolls, from about 1218 until at least the 14th century, to the instituting of priests to Maidenwell church (see PRN 49243). The church was held by Stainfield Priory and this Priory also held other lands in Maidenwell. There is a reference to a Maidenwell Grange of Stainfield in 1449 let out to rent at 26s.8d. a year. {14} At the time of the dissolution of the monasteries in about 1538 Stainfield held land in Maidenwell worth £2 12s. This will have passed into private hands. {15} By 1563 there were only four families recorded in the Diocesan Census returns in Maidenwell hamlet. Farforth, with which it was returned, had nine families recorded. {16} In the Bishop's censuses of the early 18th century Maidenwell had been united with Farforth and the two settlements are returned together as having 14 families (1705) and 11 families (1723?) as well as a single Anabaptist family. {17} The population figures for the civil censuses taken between 1801 and 1901 also combine Farforth and Maidenwell and the figures for individual settlements cannot be extracted. In 1851, however, the local registrar for St Peter's Church, Farforth, noted the population of Maidenwell as 79 and Farforth as 26 people. {18}{19} The earthwork remains of the deserted medieval village are a scheduled ancient monument and for the boundaries of the scheduled site see the National Heritage List for England. {20}

Sources/Archives (20)

  •  Scheduling Record: HBMC. AM 7. SAM 135.
  •  Bibliographic Reference: Maurice W. Beresford. 1954. The Lost Villages of England. P169,309,362.
  •  Scheduling Record: HBMC. 1985. AM 107. -.
  •  Index: OS CARD INDEX. MAIDENWELL. TF 37 NW:5,1964, FH.
  •  Aerial Photograph: 1945-84. CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY COLLECTION. PE26,28-31;AHC34;ACM17,19.
  •  Aerial Photograph: 1946-98. RCHME. 2976/11,12.
  •  Aerial Photograph: InnerVisions Aerial Photography. 1993->. InnerVisions Aerial Photographs. 360/0701/2,3,5,6,8,9,11; 359/0701/15.
  •  Map: Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England. 1992-1996. Lincolnshire National Mapping Programme. TF3279: LI.54.4.1-8.
  •  Bibliographic Reference: C.W. Foster and T. Longley. 1924. Lincolnshire Domesday and Lindsey Survey. DB13/33 and LS18/2.
  •  Bibliographic Reference: HMSO. 1921. Liber Feodorum. The Book of Fees, commonly called Testa de Nevill, part I. A.D.1198-1242. p.175.
  •  Bibliographic Reference: Kenneth Cameron. 1998. A Dictionary of Lincolnshire Place-Names. p.85.
  •  Article in Serial: R.E. Glasscock. 1964. 'The Lay Subsidy of 1334 for Lincolnshire' in Lincolnshire Architectural and Archaeological Society Reports and Papers. vol.10.2, p.130.
  •  Bibliographic Reference: Graham Platts. 1985. Land and People in Medieval Lincolnshire. appendix 2, p.307.
  •  Unpublished Document: Lincolnshire Archives. Document Held by the Lincolnshire Archives. Stainfield Priory Compotos Roll 1449/50, FL/Deeds/1295.
  •  Bibliographic Reference: Sir William Dugdale. 1817-30. Monasticon Anglicanum: a History of the Abbeys and other Monasteries, Hospitals, Friaries, and Cathedral and Collegiate Churches, with their Dependencies, in England and Wales. vol.4, p.311.
  •  Bibliographic Reference: Gerald A.J. Hodgett. 1975. Tudor Lincolnshire. p.196.
  •  Bibliographic Reference: R.E.G. Cole. 1913. Speculum Dioeceseos Lincolniensis sub Episcopis Gul: Wake et Edm: Gibson A.D.1705-1723. Part 1: Archdeaconries of Lincoln and Stow. pp.46-47.
  •  Bibliographic Reference: William Page (ed). 1906. The Victoria County History: Lincolnshire - Volume 2. p.372.
  •  Bibliographic Reference: R.W. Ambler. 1979. Lincolnshire Returns of the Census of Religious Worship, 1851. pp.180-1, no.980.
  •  Website: Historic England (formerly English Heritage). 2011->. The National Heritage List for England. 1004990.



Grid reference Centred TF 3249 7952 (689m by 753m)

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

Related Events/Activities (0)

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Record last edited

Sep 27 2023 1:03PM


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