Cottam, Cowlam and environs: an Anglo-Saxon estate on the Yorkshire Wolds

Julian D Richards, Steve Ashby, Tony Austin, David Haldenby, Madeleine Hummler, Elizabeth Jelley, Jane Richardson, Steve Roskams, Kieron Niven

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


From 1993–95 investigation of a so-called ‘productive site’ known as Cottam B revealed an Anglo-Saxon settlement occupied during the eighth to ninth centuries AD, succeeded in the late ninth to early tenth century by an Anglo-Scandinavian farmstead. The final report concluded that the Anglo-Saxon settlement may have been an outlying farming and hunting dependency set within a royal estate centred upon Driffield, but that following the Viking partition of East Yorkshire it developed into an independent proto-manor. In subsequent years, fieldwork was undertaken at other early medieval sites in the immediate locality. At Cottam A (in 1996) and later at Church Farm, Cowlam (in 2003), contemporary Anglo-Saxon occupation was revealed at both sites. These sites provide a local context for the results from Cottam B, and show widespread and dispersed settlement foci in this part of the Wolds in the eighth and ninth centuries. They illuminate how a number of outlying dependencies of a single estate were interrelated, and how they contributed to the evolution of the Late Saxon and medieval settlement pattern. This paper provides a summary report of the archaeology of Cottam A and Cowlam with a supporting digital archive, and draws conclusions about the nature of the activities and interrelationships within the proposed Anglo-Saxon estate in which these settlements were likely to have been situated.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)201-271
Number of pages71
JournalThe Archaeological Journal
Issue number1
Early online date1 Apr 2014
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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