Church Wilne Deserted Medieval Settlement, Derbyshire

Trent and Peak Archaeology, 2010 (updated 2014)

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Trent and Peak Archaeology (2014) Church Wilne Deserted Medieval Settlement, Derbyshire [data-set]. York: Archaeology Data Service [distributor]

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Church Wilne, Derbyshire: linear spreads of pebbles marking the foundations of a late medieval rectangular building

Details are provided here of a project aimed at disseminating more widely the results of unpublished excavations of a deserted medieval village in the floodplain of the River Derwent at Church Wilne, Derbyshire (SK 449 318). These archaeological investigations were undertaken in 1974 and 1975 by the Trent Valley Archaeological Research Committee, assisted by funding from the Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission (England). This work was directed by Hazel Wheeler and conducted by TVARC staff and local volunteers.

The small medieval village of Church Wilne was located on marginal land in the broad alluvial floodplain of the River Derwent, close to its confluence with the River Trent and several kilometres upstream of the confluence of the Trent with the Rivers Soar and Erewash. All that survives today is the parish church of St Chad's. This is an isolated building, located some 200m north of the modern river. The church may originally have been enclosed on three sides by a meander of the Derwent, the medieval course of which may be reconstructed from topographic, documentary, cartographic and excavation evidence. The last dwellings in the village were demolished in the 1960s, while the area adjacent to the church was converted after quarrying to a large reservoir (St Chad's Water) within a water sports centre.

Three stages of post-excavation work were conducted between April 2009 and April 2014, with the aims of:

  1. securing and enhancing the site archive (Stage 1)
  2. providing an assessment of the site’s research potential (Stage 2)
  3. creating an on-line resource facilitating access to archive data for researchers interested in the development of medieval and post-medieval settlement in the Trent Valley (Stage 3)

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