How Cool is this Medieval Reference?

Back in 2010 I discovered an enclosure with a triple ditch (thanks to Google Earth), an enthusiastic English Heritage archaeologist kindly helped volunteers survey it.

3ditches I also saw an adjacent site with a single bank and ditch also clearly visible from aerial photographs. A large man-made looking mound was later discovered when I visited the site (it was hidden by trees).

The Ancient Enclosure

In December 2012 I found this medieval reference to the site with 3 ditches… This reference is over 800 years old and a Latin transcription from the Coucher Book of Whalley Abbey (charter 44 in Roman Numerals XLIV) is shown below., locumantiquae

In Latin locum antiquae means ‘ancient enclosure’ – so it was old 800 years ago! You can recognize the location (Smallshaw) easily from the place-names and topography mentioned in the charter. The second part of the charter is shown below.

locumantiquae2

There’s More…

Thanks to Jeff Lord’s aerial photographs and evidence from early maps of the area it looks like this was originally quite an extensive settlement. There is more archaeology to be surveyed and more charters and other documents to check! Draft Presentation (PDF file reader needed). SmallshawPlaces44

The Whalley Coucher Book and the dialectal phonology of Lancashire and Cheshire

The Coucher Book of Whalley Abbey is a treasure chest of medieval historical data for Lancashire. Sadly, despite being transcribed in the 19th C. it has been little studied.  Many archaeological surveys have failed to refer to the Coucher Book’s references to the areas they purport to cover (for example a study of Rooley Moor failed to mention a single medieval charter, yet there were nearly 100 in the nearby village of  Whitworth alone).

King’s thesis, detailed below, is a valuable contribution to the study of the Coucher Book and also has a really useful chronology of land tenure in Lancashire and Cheshire. This work also contributes to place-name research in Lancashire and Cheshire.

King, C. D . – The Whalley Coucher book and the dialectal phonology of Lancashire and Cheshire 1175-1350 . – University of St Andrews PHD Thesis, 1991 (Unpublished).

Download it here

ILS catalogue number: 15280797

EThOS Persistent ID: uk.bl.ethos.493393

David Collins
Repository Administrator
University of St Andrews Library

Great News -Thanks David!