Hungry Bentley survey 2011


In August 2011, we conducted magnetometry and resistivity surveys of part of the deserted medieval village of Hungry Bentley. This site lies about 4 miles due south of Ashbourne. It is a scheduled ancient monument under the protection of English Heritage. The remains of the village are clearly visible in aerial photographs, and are equally clear on the ground. The most obvious feature on the ground is a long hollow way, running E-W, either side of which can be seen what appear to be house platforms. The scheduled area covers two fields, a large one to the west of the site, and a smaller one to the east. Here is a view taken looking west across the larger field, along the line of the hollow way. Click on it for a bigger picture


Hungry Bentley W field


Hungry Bentley was mentioned in "Magna Britannia" of 1817: "A Concise Topographical Account of the Several Counties of Great Britain, Volume the Fifth containing Derbyshire". Download the relevant 3 pages (including the title page) here


It also has an entry in the "Parliamentary Gazetteer of England and Wales" of 1844. This states that Hungry Bentley was at this time a "liberty and chapelry in the parish of Longford" with a population in 1801 of 82.

Download the relevant 2 pages (including the title page) here.


English Heritage's detailed description of the site can be found here.


Winston Hollins's report of our geophysical survey can be downloaded here.

The following extracts summarise what we found.


 Of the magnetometry: "Several features are very clear. The modern metalled tracks are very obvious, as are some of the older tracks. In addition there are vaguely rectangular areas labelled A, B, C and D which may indicate the location of buildings (certainly A, B and C are on elevated areas generally interpreted as house platforms). The area D, well separated from the other similar areas, wasn’t in an obviously elevated area in the field. An interesting circular feature in the extreme west of the survey area does appear as an earthwork on the field. The major physical features, the hollowways, are not visible in the magnetometry survey."

Of the resistivity: "The possible building sites seen in the magnetometry do not have such a large area of clearly defined anomaly. So, although sites A and B are visible, A has a very clear smaller rectangular feature, perhaps indicating brick or stone work. Site C has no clear anomaly in the resistivity. Some vague thin linear anomalies, running north to south, suggest lines of possible field drains or of ploughing."

Most of the survey area is extremely busy. The hollowways cannot be seen on the magnetometry survey. The two surveys combine to give complementary information on the layout of the village. The area D in the magnetometry could indicate a separate building, perhaps a barn or even the chapel mentioned in the historical references."


The full data from both surveys can be found in this zip file.


Stoke-on-Trent Museum Archaeological Society, february 2012

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