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Deserted medieval village of Ulnaby

List Entry Summary

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.

Name: Deserted medieval village of Ulnaby

List entry Number: 1008972


The monument may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.


District: Darlington

District Type: Unitary Authority

Parish: High Coniscliffe

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 13-Jul-1994

Date of most recent amendment: Not applicable to this List entry.

Legacy System Information

The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System: RSM

UID: 20961

Asset Groupings

This list entry does not comprise part of an Asset Grouping. Asset Groupings are not part of the official record but are added later for information.

List entry Description

Summary of Monument

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

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 Ulnaby is extensive and exceptionally well preserved. It retains valuable evidence within and beneath its archaeological deposits and will add to our understanding of medieval settlement and economy in this area.


Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.


The monument includes an exceptionally well preserved deserted medieval village surrounding the present buildings of Ulnaby Hall. Earthworks of various types survive across the whole of the site. The surviving settlement focus now lies to the east of Ulnaby Hall. Here, earthwork banks define a series of adjacent rectangular enclosures orientated north-south and measuring on average 70m by 40m. The banks surrounding these enclosures are 4m wide and 0.4m high. Within these large enclosures are the earthwork remains of rectangular buildings, the houses of the village. South of these enclosures, and east of the modern farm, is an open area interpreted as part of the village green. Similar earthwork remains including further building foundations are ranged around the east and south sides of this green. Originally the settlement remains would have extended further west onto the area now occupied by Ulnaby Hall. In the north of the site, north of the Hall, the rectangular enclosures are all bounded by a trackway which runs east-west across the site and provided access from the village into the adjacent fields. To the north of this trackway, remains of these fields survive as well preserved rig and furrow running north-south from the track. The medieval field systems would originally have extended into the fields around the monument but they no longer survive there. All field boundaries which surround or cross the area of the scheduling, the water tank to the south east of the farm buildings and the electricity wires which cross the site from east to west are excluded from the scheduling, but the ground beneath them is included.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.

Selected Sources

NZ 21 NW 25,

National Grid Reference: NZ 22706 17045


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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 - 1008972 .pdf

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This copy shows the entry on 21-Sep-2018 at 10:33:02.

End of official listing