Ancient Monuments

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Yoden medieval settlement

A Scheduled Monument in Peterlee, County Durham

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Latitude: 54.7686 / 54°46'7"N

Longitude: -1.3302 / 1°19'48"W

OS Eastings: 443190.813346

OS Northings: 541728.786246

OS Grid: NZ431417

Mapcode National: GBR MF49.TC

Mapcode Global: WHD5Z.JDSM

Entry Name: Yoden medieval settlement

Scheduled Date: 17 February 1953

Last Amended: 9 April 2001

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1019913

English Heritage Legacy ID: 34579

County: County Durham

Civil Parish: Peterlee

Built-Up Area: Peterlee

Traditional County: Durham

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): County Durham

Church of England Parish: Peterlee

Church of England Diocese: Durham


The monument includes the earthworks and buried remains of Yoden medieval
village which lies on the magnesian limestone plateau of East Durham. The
plan of the medieval settlement of Yoden is of a type familiar to this part of
County Durham in which parallel lines of tofts or houses with crofts or garden
areas to the rear face on to a village green. At Yoden the main green runs
east-west through the village. Beyond the tofts and crofts would lie the
communal open fields where the crops were grown. The tofts and crofts at Yoden
survive as visible earthworks up to 0.5m high forming rectangular and
subrectangular enclosures. The green around which the tofts and crofts were
arranged is no longer obvious on the ground, but it is clearly shown on the
first edition Ordnance Survey map. Traces of this green can be expected to
survive below the ground. Deep ploughing has removed any potential earthworks
to the east of those presently visible, although archaeological deposits
relating to the medieval settlement can also be expected to have survived
below ground. A post-medieval quarry has destroyed part of the settlement to
the north.
The village of Yoden is mentioned by Simeon of Durham as the northern limit of
Scula's (a Danish viking warlord), oppression, in around 900-915. Finds from
partial excavations in 1884 included pottery from the 14th to 16th century.
All fencing and modern walls 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

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 past 1500 years or more.
The East Durham Plateau local region is a limestone upland partly covered by
glacial clays. The upper part of the plateau was almost devoid of settlement
until the creation of the late 19th century mining communities, but ancient
villages occupy the varied soils of the western sub-Provincial boundary, and
can be found along the north-south routes just inland from the coast. Towards
the southern edge and the Tees Valley, there has been significant settlement

Medieval villages were organised agricultural communities, sited at the centre
of a parish or township, that shared resources such as arable land, meadow and
woodland. Village plans varied enormously, but when they survive as
earthworks their most distinguished features include roads and minor tracks,
platforms on which houses stood and other buildings such as barns, enclosed
crofts and small 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 also survive as visible remains as well
as below ground deposits. In the central province of England, villages were
the most distinct aspect 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.
Yoden medieval settlement is well-preserved and retains significant
archaeological deposits. The village is a good example of its type and will
add greatly to our knowledge and understanding of medieval settlement in the

Source: Historic England


Roberts, B., Back Lanes and Tofts, Distribution Maps and Time, Medieval Nucle, Medieval Rural Settlement In North-East England, (1990)

Source: Historic England

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