Deserted medieval village at Walworth


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1011256

Date first listed: 27-Oct-1967

Date of most recent amendment: 04-Oct-1993


Ordnance survey map of Deserted medieval village at Walworth
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: Darlington (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Walworth

National Grid Reference: NZ 23280 19083


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. It is clear from the visible earthworks that Walworth was a planned village and that a substantial portion of the original layout survives in a remarkable state of preservation. The monument displays most of the features associated with a medieval village including numerous peasant houses and their associated enclosures. The planned extension to the village, which survives less well, is nevertheless an integral part of the history of Walworth. Generally, there is little evidence of post medieval disturbance and the archaeological deposits associated with the village survive well; they will provide important information about medieval rural society and economy of which Walworth was a part.


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


The monument includes the remains of the deserted village of Walworth surrounding the North Farm complex. It survives in excellent condition in the form of a group of well defined and well preserved earthworks. The centre of the deserted village is occupied by a village green measuring 200m east-west by 150m north-south. Surrounding the green on its north, east and west sides are the remains of the streets of the village surviving as rectangular house platforms of varying sizes with their long sides facing onto the street. Gardens, stock enclosures and scooped yards are clearly attached to the back. One building platform, standing at the eastern end of the north row, is larger than the others, measuring 30m by 22m. On the green at its western edge there is a rectangular structure measuring 17m by 15m, the remains of a well preserved pinfold into which straying livestock were herded. Several hollow ways are visible, the most prominent of which measures 15m across and enters the village at its north-western corner. There is what appears to be a later, rectangular extension to the village at its north-eastern corner; although this is now overlain by medieval and later cultivation, the remains of house platforms can be seen fronting an earlier raised street. The following features are excluded from the scheduling: the farm building within the area south-west of the farm complex, the electricity cables which cross the monument from east to west and north to south, all fences and the telephone posts and cables which lead into the farmhouse but the ground beneath all these features is included. The mission hall and the central area of the farm complex are totally excluded from the scheduling.

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: 20872

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Taylor, C, 'Village and Farmstead' in Village and Farmstead, (1983)
SMR Entry, No. 1568,

End of official listing