Identifying a deserted village

Lost and Shrunken Villages
Topic 2: Identifying a deserted village

Today, shrunken and deserted medieval villages can often be identified by the occasional surviving building or habitation and the humps and bumps that can be seen in fields.

Isolated churches

Because churches were endowed with legacies by local land owners, they often survive long after the associated settlement has disappeared, and an isolated church can be a good, and quite visible, indicator of a lost or shrunken settlement.

Farm names

Another indicator is in the names of farms. Medieval manors can survive as post-medieval farms and names such as Manor Farm or Grange Farm can indicate this.

Humps and bumps

The humps and bumps associated with a medieval settlement are quite specific and can be interpreted with an understanding of how medieval dwellings were constructed and developed.

Manor Farm at Brauncewell, adjacent to deserted medieval village (Image: Google maps)