Deserted medieval village and field system at Garmondsway


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Date of most recent amendment:


Ordnance survey map of Deserted medieval village and field system at Garmondsway
© Crown Copyright and database right 2019. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2019. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
Use of this data is subject to Terms and Conditions.

The above map is for quick reference purposes only and may not be to scale. For a copy of the full scale map, please see the attached PDF - 1008666 .pdf

The PDF will be generated from our live systems and may take a few minutes to download depending on how busy our servers are. We apologise for this delay.

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 is included.

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

Your Contributions

Do you know more about this entry?

The following information has been contributed by users volunteering for our Enriching The List project. For small corrections to the List Entry please see our Minor Amendments procedure.

The information and images below are the opinion of the contributor, are not part of the official entry and do not represent the official position of Historic England. We have not checked that the contributions below are factually accurate. Please see our terms and conditions. If you wish to report an issue with a contribution or have a question please email [email protected].