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The deserted medieval village at Doddershall


The Society responded strongly in February 2014 to plans in the HS2 Environmental Statement that would almost completely destroy the Doddershall deserted village site.
Click here to read download article our defence of the deserted village.

Both aerial photographs and field surveys show low earthworks in the fields to the north-east and south-west of Doddershall House, near Quainton. Documentary evidence reveals that these are the remains of the village of Doddershall, which dates back to Saxon times and is recorded in Domesday Book in 1085.

The village was destroyed in the years following 1495, when the lord of the manor evicted all his tenant villagers and turned the village's open fields over to sheep farming. Its site is unscheduled and has never been excavated.

However a report for Cardinal Wolsey in 1517 says that 24 cottages were pulled down and 120 people made homeless. Today shallow earthworks show where once were streets.

The north-eastern section of the deserted village site is already bisected by the former Great Central railway line, now used for goods trains only. The planned HS2 high-speed rail line will run parallel to this existing line, which will be used for access to the HS2 construction site.

The twin-track line itself will be 75 metres wide, destroying a half-mile section of village earthworks. This is the minimum because road access required for construction is not yet known.

The northern earthworks at Doddershall with the position of HS2 
					crossing at top-right.

A PLOT OF THE DESERTED VILLAGE EARTHWORKS in the fields to the north of Doddershall House. The dotted lines across the top-right corner show the planned route of HS2. The line itself will be much wider and destroy more of the earthworks.

The survey report concludes that the Doddershall deserted village site, encapsulating more than 500 years of medieval village life and untouched for a further 500, is a significant heritage asset which merits a full archaeological survey and excavation in order to record what will be lost as a result of HS2.

For full details and recommendations, see:
download article The deserted medieval village at Doddershall : BAS Report 2013-02 March 2013
download article Doddershall deserted village : BAS Response to the HS2 Environmental Statement - February 2014

A drawing of Doddershall House

DODDERSHALL HOUSE, from Records of Buckinghamshire in 1867. The house is unchanged today.