Monument record MLI60733 - Brauncewell deserted settlement


Brauncewell deserted settlement

Type and Period (4)

Protected Status/Designation

Full Description

60733 Brauncewell is first documented in the Domesday Book. It was known at that time as 'Branzewelle', which is probably a hybrid of 'Brand's spring' from the Old Norse personal name 'Brandr' and Old English 'wella'. The 'au' element shows Norman influence, and the '-s-' sound survives in the modern pronunciation, showing that the name was given by the Danes. A manor there was owned by Alfred of Lincoln. A larger landholding was owned by Geoffrey Alselin, which was sokeland and berewic of a manor in Ruskington. A church and a priest are also mentioned. There was a minimum population at that time of 23. There was probably a degree of dispersed settlement before the Conquest, but manorialisation was probably responsible for nucleation. {1}{2}{3} The desertion of the settlement has been attributed to a catastrophic fire, but the fall in population appears to have been a far more gradual process. Much of the land at Brauncewell was granted to the foundations of Catley, Haverholme, Newbo and Temple Bruer by the thirteenth century. This probably meant that land was no longer available for cultivation to the occupants of Brauncewell, and consequently there was a contraction of the village. Climatic change compounded the shrinkage, and by the fourteenth century there was a labour shortage. The Black Death exacerbated the situation, but despite this and enclosure of land for sheep there was some recovery in the sixteenth century. By 1563 there were 12 households, and in 1616 there were 60 communicants in Brauncewell and Dunsby. In the early seventeenth century there were four families at most, falling to one at the lowest. In the nineteenth century there was a combined popluation rising from 30 in 1801 to 128 in 1901, and peaking in 1881 at 173. At the Dissolution almost the whole settlement was acquired by Robert Carre and the manor descended to the present day as part of the Bristol Estate.{3}{4}{5}{6} The larger area of settlement is aligned east-west along one street, and the rectangular shapes of small stone houses and stone-walled crofts are clearly viaible. From the ground it can be seen that there extend eastwards beyond the scheduled site into a field now under plough, and at the time of survey the farmer confirmed that ploughing had taken place there long before the site was scheduled. The earthworks south of the church, in the field called Church Close, and aligned north-south, are of quite different character. They consist of larger, almost square enclosures, with fewer obvious remains of buildings, although some foundations are visible on aerial photographs. One taken in snow in 1978 reveals regularly spaced dark squares in each of these enclosures. On the 1839 map, two large ponds are shown at the south and south east end of the complex, and, being adjacent to the Manor House, the whole area would appear to be formal gardens in which water was a feature. Perhaps the square marks represent statuary or regularly spaced ornamental trees. {3}

Sources/Archives (20)

  •  Bibliographic Reference: C.W. Foster and T. Longley. 1924. Lincolnshire Domesday and Lindsey Survey. xv; lxxviii; 27/45; 64/6.
  •  Bibliographic Reference: Kenneth Cameron. 1998. A Dictionary of Lincolnshire Place-Names. page 20.
  •  Unpublished Document: R.H. Healey and D.R. Roffe. Some Medieval and Later Earthworks in South Lincolnshire. pp.18-20, Fig 6.
  •  Bibliographic Reference: Gerald A.J. Hodgett. 1975. Tudor Lincolnshire. page 190.
  •  Bibliographic Reference: William Page (ed). 1906. The Victoria County History: Lincolnshire - Volume 2. page 362.
  •  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. page 21.
  •  Index: OS CARD INDEX. BRAUNCEWELL. TF 05 SW:6; 1964; J Baird.
  •  Scheduling Record: HBMC. AM 7. SAM 278.
  •  Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1946-71. RAF POST WAR COLLECTION. CPE:UK 2073:4410, 4411, 1947.
  •  Bibliographic Reference: BERESFORD, M.W.. 1954. The Lost Villages of England. page 307.
  •  Aerial Photograph: THOMSON B. 1990-91. Aerial photographs taken by B. Thomson. -.
  •  Aerial Photograph: THOMSON B. 1992. -.
  •  Aerial Photograph: 1945-84. CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY COLLECTION. AWX12,AWX17, 1969.
  •  Bibliographic Reference: Edward Trollope. 1872. Sleaford and the Wapentakes of Flaxwell and Aswardhurn in the County of Lincoln. page 213-15.
  •  Bibliographic Reference: William White. 1856. History, Gazetteer and Directory of Lincolnshire - Second Edition. page 445.
  •  Map: Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England. 1992-1996. National Mapping Programme. TF0452:LI.867.8.1-16, 1996.
  •  Aerial Photograph: John A. East. 1978-80. John East Collection of Aerial Photographs. 1714/79.



Grid reference Centred TF 0474 5243 (629m by 722m)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (5)

External Links (0)

Record last edited

Mar 21 2021 8:35PM


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