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Archaeologia Cantiana -  Vol. 72  1958  page 25
Medieval Buildings in the Joyden’s Wood Square Earthwork. 
   By P. J. Tester, F.S.A. and J. E. L. Caiger
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CONCLUSIONS
   This latest evidence provides striking confirmation of the views of those previous-investigators who have held that the Joyden's Wood "camp" was the site of a medieval settlement. The probability of its association with the lost Manor of Ocholt, known to have been situated hereabouts,1 is heightened by the discovery of the hall which may very likely have been the manor house. A remarkable feature is the apparent shortness of the occupation for nothing found by us in association with the buildings lies outside the period c. 1280-1320. Why the settlement was deserted is not certain; failure of the water supply, rapid impoverishment of the sandy soil in the surrounding fields or the Black Death (1348) are possible explanations. Nothing was found to suggest destruction by fire or similar calamity.
   If this was the site of Ocholt, which belonged to the Abbey of Lesnes, there may be some connection between the decay of the manor and the rule of Abbot John of Hoddesden who misgoverned the Abbey and its estates between 1327 and 1344. Recent researches at Lesnes suggest that the fabric of the Abbey itself suffered dilapidation from this cause.2
   It is not clear from Colvin's account whether the 15th or 16th century sherds found "in Joyden's Wood in 1933" have anything to do with the square earthwork.3
   The problem of the age of the earthworks themselves in relation to the buildings was carefully considered during our investigation, though no cuttings were made across the banks and ditches. Past investigation on these lines is recorded to have yielded no satisfactory dating evidence and our resources of tune and labour were insufficient to justify undertaking work likely to provide negative results. Clearly the wide, shallow ditch and bank shown on some earlier plans dividing the enclosed area across its approximate centre has been perceived in part with the eye of faith as it now appears that its S.E. end would have passed clean through the hall footings at a point where they were in fact covered by only a few inches of soil and showed no sign of disturbance. Possibly it was a hollow track leading to the hall entrance. At the time of our survey its presence could hardly be recognized. The curved internal ditch or track skirting the S.W. side of the group of buildings was seemingly planned with regard to their siting and was probably contemporary. On the other hand, as noted by Colvin, the late 13th century footings of Building D lay on the line of Hogg's bank QR which must have been partly levelled by that time. Thus it appears that the outer banks of the enclosure may have been slightly
   The evidence has been summarized by Hogg in Arch. Cant., LIV, p. 16.
   Arch. Cant., LXX, p. 247.
   Arch. Cant., LXI, p. 133 footnote 2.

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