How Many Deserted Villages Are There In England?


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Gillian Smith answered
It was once thought that these were rare but today we estimate that there are probably remains of around over three thousand deserted villages in the English countryside.

As far back as 1770 Oliver Goldsmith wrote the Deserted Village which was aimed at sceptics including Doctor Johnson. He wrote about the depopulation of the villages and many people didn't believe his claims which we know know to be accurate.
It might be more accurate to use the term settlement rather than village as definition is sometimes difficult.
There are deserted settlements that can be defined as villages dating back to the pre-historic period.
Examples of deserted settlements are Caus in Shropshire which is described as a 'failed' medieval town, Richards Castle in Herefordshire is a deserted medieval borough. Newbold Grounds, Northamptonshire is an example of a classic deserted medieval village. Walworth, County Durham is a good example of a deserted village green .
The site of Wharram Percy in North Yorkshire has been well excavated and is a wonderful example of a deserted village.
Many are well worth visiting.

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