Deserted medieval village and field system at Garmondsway
- Heritage Category:
- Scheduled Monument
- List Entry Number:
- Date first listed:
- Date of most recent amendment:
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This copy shows the entry on 23-Oct-2019 at 04:55:26.
The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
- County Durham (Unitary Authority)
- National Grid Reference:
- NZ 34129 34933, NZ 34132 34761
Reasons for Designation
The village, comprising a small group of houses, gardens, yards, streets,
paddocks, often with a green, a manor and a church, and with a community
devoted primarily to agriculture, was a significant component of the rural
landscape in most areas of medieval England, much as it is today. Villages
provided some services to the local community and acted as the main focal
point of ecclesiastical, and often of manorial, administration within each
parish. Although the sites of many of these villages have been occupied
continuously down to the present day, many others declined in size or were
abandoned throughout the medieval and post-medieval periods, particularly
during the 14th and 15th centuries. As a result over 2000 deserted medieval
villages are recorded nationally. The reasons for desertion were varied but
often reflected declining economic viability, changes in land use such as
enclosure or emparkment, or population fluctuations as a result of widespread
epidemics such as the Black Death. As a consequence of their abandonment
these villages are frequently undisturbed by later occupation and contain
well-preserved archaeological deposits. Because they are a common and
long-lived monument type in most parts of England, they provide important
information on the diversity of medieval settlement patterns and farming
economy between the regions and through time.
The medieval village of Garmondsway is extensive and exceptionally well preserved. It retains valuable information concerning its origin and development and will add to our knowledge and understanding of medieval settlement in northern England.
The monument includes the deserted medieval village of Garmondsway and part of
its field system, situated on a steep north facing slope. It is divided into
two separate areas. The village is visible as a series of well preserved
earthen banks standing to over 0.6m high, forming at least 13 rectangular
enclosures; many of these enclosures, which are orientated east-west and
measure 50m across, are sub-divided and contain gardens and yards. At the
extreme eastern end of most of the plots there are the buried foundations of a
rectangular long house, a type of house occupied by the majority of village
residents. The houses and plots are bounded on the west by a prominent hollow
way 6m wide which runs the entire length of the village. A second hollow way
is visible running along the eastern boundary of the site, onto which the
majority of the houses face. That the village was occupied over a period of
time is attested by clear alterations in many of the property boundaries. The
western half of the monument contains a fragment of the adjacent medieval
field system and is visible as 12 substantial ridges, orientated north-south,
each 6.5m wide.
The fence lines, constructed upon the field boundaries which limit the area of
protection, are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath them
MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.
The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.
- Legacy System number:
- Legacy System:
Books and journals
The Victoria History of the County of Durham: Volume III, (1928)
McCord, N, Durham History from the Air, (1971)
NZ 33 SW 12,
This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.
End of official listing