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Wallerthwaite medieval village

A Scheduled Monument in Markington with Wallerthwaite, North Yorkshire

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Latitude: 54.0781 / 54°4'41"N

Longitude: -1.5498 / 1°32'59"W

OS Eastings: 429553.210349

OS Northings: 464776.091665

OS Grid: SE295647

Mapcode National: GBR KPM8.8W

Mapcode Global: WHC81.5R8K

Entry Name: Wallerthwaite medieval village

Scheduled Date: 7 July 1958

Last Amended: 8 December 1997

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1017657

English Heritage Legacy ID: 29535

County: North Yorkshire

Civil Parish: Markington with Wallerthwaite

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): North Yorkshire


The monument includes the remains of the medieval village of Wallerthwaite. It
is located in a wide hollow south west of the village of Markington.
The medieval village was located on the south side of a green which occupied
the floor of the hollow. A street extended through the green and continued
as a road beyond either end. Houses were built on slight terraces extending
south west up the slope to the south of the green. A range of enclosures and
yards, some of which were under cultivation, lay to the north west of the
houses separated by tracks and paths. The north east of the green and the
surrounding fields were occupied by field systems including arable and
The remains of the house platforms and enclosures south west of the street
survive as low earthwork banks with the intervening tracks still visible. In
some of the enclosures remains of medieval ridge and furrow cultivation
Of the original medieval field system, only the section lying in the field
immediately north east of the green is included in the scheduling. Here
remnants of ridge and furrow and associated balks and headlands survive as
The original main street running through the village remains in use and now
survives as Wallerthwaite Lane.
Little is known of the history of Wallerthwaite. It existed in the medieval
period and, in common with other medieval settlements in England, became
deserted, although it is not known exactly when or why this occurred. It was
deserted by the 14th century and it is thought that the Black Death in 1349
and raids by the Scots earlier in the century were responsible.
A number of features are excluded from the scheduling; these are all walls,
gates, feeding troughs and telegraph poles, although the ground beneath these
features is included.

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.
It includes a 2 metre boundary around the archaeological features,
considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Medieval rural settlements in England were marked by great regional diversity
in form, size and type, and the protection of their archaeological remains
needs to take these differences into account. To do this, England has been
divided into three broad Provinces on the basis of each area's distinctive
mixture of nucleated and dispersed settlements. These can be further divided
into sub-Provinces and local regions, possessing characteristics which have
gradually evolved during the last 1500 years or more.
This monument lies in the Humber-Tees sub-Province of the Central Province
which comprises a great fertile lowland, with many local variations caused by
slight differences in terrain, but generally dominated by market towns,
villages and hamlets. The dispersed farmsteads between these are mainly of
post-medieval date, created by movement out of the villages and onto newly
consolidated holdings following enclosure. Some, however, are more ancient
disposals, the result of manors, granges and other farmsteads being moved out
of villages in the Middle Ages; others have become isolated by the process of
village depopulation, which has had a substantial impact in the sub-Province.
The Vale of York local region is a rich agricultural lowland dominated by a
dense pattern of villages and hamlets founded in the Middle Ages, about one in
four of which have since been deserted. It contains low and very low densities
of dispersed settlements, some of which are isolated medieval moated manor
houses. The landscape was formerly dominated by communal townfields which were
mainly enclosed in the 18th century.

Medieval villages were organised agricultural communities sited at the centre
of a parish or township and sharing resources such as arable land, meadow and
woodland. Village plans varied enormously, but where they survive as
earthworks their most distinguishing features include roads and minor tracks,
platforms on which stood houses and other buildings such as barns, enclosed
crofts and small enclosed paddocks. They frequently included the parish church
within their boundaries, and as part of the manorial system most villages
included one or more manorial centres which may survive as visible remains as
well as below ground deposits. In the lowlands in the Vale of Mowbray,
villages were the most visible evidence of medieval life, and their
archaeological remains are one of the most important sources of understanding
about rural life in the five or more centuries following the Norman Conquest.
Medieval villages were supported by a communal system of agriculture based on
large unenclosed open arable fields. The cultivation of these fields produced
long wide ridges, and the resultant ridge and furrow where it survives is the
most obvious physical indication of the open field system. Well preserved
ridge and furrow, especially in its original context adjacent to village
earthworks, is both an important source of information about medieval agrarian
life and a distinctive contribution to the character of the landscape.
The medieval village of Wallerthwaite and the remains of its field system
are well preserved and retain significant archaeological deposits. The village
is a good example of its type which will add greatly to our knowledge and
understanding of medieval settlement in the region.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Beresford, , 'Yorkshire Archaeological Journal' in The Medieval Villages of Yorkshire, , Vol. Pt 150, (1953), 236

Source: Historic England

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