Nothing now remains of the 'town' and of its ancient chapel but the site of the cockpit. (1)
'This field is called Chapel Yard'. (2)
The field is covered for the greater part by rig and furrow ploughing, the furrows being of considerable size, and not crossing the field in one direction, but divided by a large winding baulk down the length of the field, (the baulk may be an old trackway), and broken up in the north half of the field, by a fan-shaped set of what may have been drainage channels. In the north east corner of the field, three hollow ways converge towards the corner where there is a stream running along the east boundary of the field. In the north west corner of the field are many earth and stone banks and fragments of banks, some very large, being up to 2m in height. This part of the field appears to contain remains which can be definitely associated with the deserted village. Towards the south west corner of the field, however, amidst the rig and furrow ploughing are definite traces of a large rectangular enclosure. The field lies on a gentle south-east slope.
There are no remains which can be associated with the site of the chapel. The whole area is under pasture. 'A' (NZ 1571 8093) Mrs Richardson of Shilvington pointed out the site of the Cockpit to the Investigator, as being a slight hollow in a ploughed field, 40m south of the road to Ogle. There is no evidence of antiquity. Recently, a pile of loose stones has been gathered together from the area of the pit, and lies on the rim. A similar shallow, but elongated pit nearer
the road was a silage pit in past years. (3)
Remains of steadings and field banks are also visible north and south of the Shilvington - Whalton road; in the southern field the area is bounded by rig and furrow traces, but the whole is now under modern plough.
The village now consists of two cottages only, both are stone built and obviously ancient but contain no dateable architectural features. Other than 'Church Yard' no field names were obtainable.
Reason for desertion not ascertained. (4)
The visible remains (apart from rig and furrow) are confined to a sunken track and two identifiable steadings. They are unrepresentative of a major deserted medieval village and do not merit survey action. (5)
The vill of Shilvington provided eight contributors to the 1296 Lay Subsidy, and ten to that of 1312. In the mid-14th century the township became part of the Ogle barony. No other relevant medieval documents found.
A 1584 certificate of decay noted that there had been 12 tenements in the township in 1535. Shilvington was planned for the 1632 Ogle barony survey - comprised ten houses in the village. Thirteen houses listed in the township in the 1666 Hearth Tax. Numerous buildings marked on Armstrong's map of 1769. The settlement declined thereafter. Two houses survive. (6)
Deserted village at Shilvington, scheduled monument Northum 319. An interesting example of a deserted village surrounded by an impressive boundary bank. Houses can be seen and also a network of sunken roads. (7)
The cockpit at NZ 15718093 has now been ploughed out and no traces remain. (8)
NZ 159 811; NZ 159 810. Deserted village at Silvington. Scheduled No ND/319. (10a)
FIELD OBSERVATION, Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Field Investigation 1964; R W Emsley
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