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Deserted medieval village at Walworth

A Scheduled Monument in Walworth, Darlington

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Latitude: 54.5669 / 54°34'0"N

Longitude: -1.6414 / 1°38'29"W

OS Eastings: 423282.843682

OS Northings: 519132.95673

OS Grid: NZ232191

Mapcode National: GBR JHZM.FN

Mapcode Global: WHC5N.RGKS

Entry Name: Deserted medieval village at Walworth

Scheduled Date: 27 October 1967

Last Amended: 4 October 1993

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1011256

English Heritage Legacy ID: 20872

County: Darlington

Civil Parish: Walworth

Traditional County: Durham

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): County Durham

Church of England Parish: Heighington

Church of England Diocese: Durham


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.

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.
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

Source: Historic England


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

Source: Historic England

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