Ancient Monuments

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Deserted medieval village and field system at Garmondsway

A Scheduled Monument in Kelloe, County Durham

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Latitude: 54.7071 / 54°42'25"N

Longitude: -1.4718 / 1°28'18"W

OS Eastings: 434129.999876

OS Northings: 534800.476892

OS Grid: NZ341348

Mapcode National: GBR LG50.4F

Mapcode Global: WHD63.CYCC

Entry Name: Deserted medieval village and field system at Garmondsway

Scheduled Date: 7 May 1957

Last Amended: 29 July 1994

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1008666

English Heritage Legacy ID: 20969

County: County Durham

Civil Parish: Kelloe

Traditional County: Durham

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): County Durham

Church of England Parish: Kelloe

Church of England Diocese: Durham


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.

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

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

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.

Source: Historic England


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,

Source: Historic England

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