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Deserted medieval village of Hilderthorpe with associated ridge and furrow field system

A Scheduled Monument in Bridlington, East Riding of Yorkshire

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Latitude: 54.0727 / 54°4'21"N

Longitude: -0.208 / 0°12'28"W

OS Eastings: 517352.468062

OS Northings: 465573.726086

OS Grid: TA173655

Mapcode National: GBR VPZB.RS

Mapcode Global: WHHF6.SW4N

Entry Name: Deserted medieval village of Hilderthorpe with associated ridge and furrow field system

Scheduled Date: 24 September 1954

Last Amended: 19 March 1996

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1013704

English Heritage Legacy ID: 26524

County: East Riding of Yorkshire

Civil Parish: Bridlington

Built-Up Area: Bridlington

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): East Riding of Yorkshire

Church of England Parish: Bridlington Emmanuel

Church of England Diocese: York


The monument includes the well preserved earthwork remains of the deserted
medieval village of Hilderthorpe with associated ridge and furrow field
system, lying close to the modern shoreline between the Bridlington South
Sands to the east and the A165 to the west, south of modern Hilderthorpe which
is a suburb of Bridlington.
The earthwork remains of the village are well defined banks and platforms up
to 2m in height in some places and include the remains of house platforms,
crofts, lanes and trackways, together with a large section of original ridge
and furrow field systems to the south east of the site. A central
thoroughfare, which remains clearly visible as a hollow way, winds
through the site, with subsidiary tracks and lanes branching off it to the
south. Excavations carried out during the cutting of a sewer trench in 1954
and 1955 demonstrated that the surface of the main thoroughfare was of puddled
chalk set within the matrix of subsoil and strengthened with small stones,
and that it was ditched on either side. A sherd of 15th century date found in
a sealed re-cut ditch context, suggests that the original ditch and the road
itself are of an earlier date.
The arrangement of trackways, earthen platforms and field systems all
demonstrate that the village had a main east-west alignment. Rectangular
earthen mounds identified as house platforms lie adjacent to the trackways and
thoroughfare, whilst the central building remains have been identified as the
The site is now partly destroyed by the development of the modern suburbs of
Bridlington, and by housing estates and drainage operations to the south side
of the site. Medieval structures were found and recorded during the cutting of
a sewer trench through part of the site in 1954.
The township of Hilderthorpe, covering 455 acres in 1850 was originally
probably a Scandinavian settlement, as evidenced by the old Danish derivation
of the Domesday spelling of the name as Hilgretorp, meaning Hildiger's
The Domesday survey of 1086 groups two settlements of Hilgertorp and
Wiflestorp (Wilsthorpe with Bretlington - Bridlington) together as being in
the hands of the king, with six villeins and land for one plough on the estate
In the Hundred Rolls of 1279 land rented to Clibert in Hilgretorp was assessed
at ten shillings.
In 1334, the lay subsidy or tax quota was set at 16 shillings. This was
revised during the mid 14th and mid 15th centuries with the intention of
relieving the tax burden on those villages which were experiencing
difficulties meeting their tax obligations.
There were 56 poll-taxpayers in 1377. Some 60% of the population died during
the Black Death, after which the population decline of the village seems a
long and gradual one. Thirteen able bodied men are recorded as being mustered
here in 1539. Eight households were liable to or exempt from the hearth tax
in 1670. In 1801, the villages of Hilderthorpe and Wilsthorpe had only 40
recorded residents between them.
During the course of the later 19th century to the present, the site of
Hilderthorpe has been almost completely subsumed within the suburbs of
Bridlington to the north.
The monument is now the site of the Bridlington Golf Club. With the exception
of modern earthworks forming elements of the golf course, all above ground
amenities, fixtures and fittings are excluded from the scheduling, although
the ground beneath is included.

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.
It includes a 5 metre boundary around the archaeological features,
considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.

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 earthwork remains at Hilderthorpe survive in excellent condition
and include a considerable portion of the original features of the settlement,
including crofts and house platforms along street lines.
There are very good historical data documenting the origin of the village from
the time of the Norman Conquest, down to the 19th century.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Beresford, MW, Hurst, JG, Deserted Medieval Villages , (1971), 167
Beresford, M, Lost Villages of England, (1954), 275
Brewster, T C M, Armstrong, P, Hough. P, , 'East Riding Archaeologist' in Excavations At Hilderthorpe, , Vol. Vol 2, (1975), 71-76
Bastow, M.E., AM107, (1989)
Bastow, M.E., AM107, (1990)
Humberside SMR, Sites and Monuments Records Sheet, (1994)
Humberside SMR, Sites and Monuments Records Sheet, (1994)
Pacitto, A.C., AM107, (1984)
plate III, Humberside SMR, Yorkshire Archaeological Journal, YAJ, (1955)

Source: Historic England

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