Woughton is today considered a shrunken medieval village and is a good example of this class of monument. It survives well as extensive and clearly defined earthworks in an area of permanent pasture and has good potential for the survival of archaeological remains. Your Smith forebears worked these fields – perhaps for generations before John. The site falls in the area designated as the Ouzel Valley Country Park and is provided with on-site interpretative material by the Milton Keynes Archaeological Unit.
The monument includes two areas representing the earthwork remains of the once extensive village of Woughton, stretching from the Grand Union Canal in the west to the River Ouzel in the east. The earthworks, which are all that remain visible of the deserted area of the village, survive as a linear spread of archaeological features orientated south-west to north-east and covering a maximum distance of 800m metres.
The main elements include a substantial hollow way 300m long, 8m wide and 1.3m deep. It is orientated east-west and represents the site of the former Meadows Lane, the main village street. Roughly midway along its length, secondary lanes run north and south from a crossroads. On either side of the main street are a series of rectangular enclosures and platforms separated by shallow ditches. These are the remains of the small garden crofts, house platforms and back alleys and are perhaps the best preserved area of village earthworks. They survive in this eastern area set within an extensive and well defined open field system. The ridge and furrow here averaging 8m wide and 0.4m high and showing the characteristic and distinctive reversed S-curve of such early ploughland. Further west, towards the canal, there is further evidence of the earlier medieval village, where it is possible to recognise the westward continuation of Meadows Lane, again flanked by cottage platforms and crofts, with banks up to 0.5m high. In the vicinity of the canal the village remains become less distinct; however, excavations beyond the canal, in the area now occupied by the marina have demonstrated the continuation of the village in this area, recovering the remains of a small L-shaped farm and outbuildings.
The Smith family worked the land for the lord of manor who in the eighteenth century was the Troutbeck family.
Outside of work the families would have attended the church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin and many other activities would have been held at the village pub, the White Swan - built in Tudor times and located on the edge of the green. The top photo shows what it looked like a couple of centuries ago and the lower drawing of it is what it looks like today.