REVIEW BY JOHN HUNT
Burton Dassett, in the Warwickshire Feldon, has previously attracted attention as representing rural settlements in the area that suffered depopulation in the late medieval period. This long-awaited publication of the excavations undertaken at Southend between 1986 and 1988 enriches and expands that view, revealing evidence of a planned settlement of the 13th to late 15th centuries, and the prevalence of stone construction demonstrating an alternative building tradition to cruck-built structures.
The report presents the material culture of a market village, neither entirely rural nor urban, the authors describing Southend as a ‘borderline’ settlement that challenges the usefulness of rigid categorisation. The important finds assemblage describes daily life and economy at Southend. This ambitious volume, which effectively combines archaeological and documentary approaches, is produced to the highest standards, with excellent plans, maps, figures, and photographs throughout. It is a ‘must’ for those interested in medieval rural settlement and material culture, and in the West Midlands region.
Nicholas Palmer and Jonathan Parkhouse