The changing technologies of the modern day are allowing new views of many different archaeological sites including deserted medieval villages. The advent of drones which allow aerial data to be gathered across sites not only enables detailed archaeology photographs to be taken but also fine grained topographic surveys. LiDAR (Light Detection & Ranging) data also allows for topographic survey as well as peeling back layers such as tree cover. This is also becoming more widely available.
As with all new technology the full capabilities of drones is only just being explored. One group that have explored the possibilities of the technology has been Yorkshire Archaeological Aerial Mapping and among their surveys have been a number of deserted village sites. They have so far provided the surveys of Wharram Percy, Lead and East Tanfield. Below you can see their survey of Wharram Percy.
Further information and examples of this technique can be found here http://www.yaamapping.co.uk/
LiDAR data is becoming more freely available and as such more and more people are modelling archaeological sites, and deserted medieval settlements are among these. One site with a number of deserted villages modelled is that of Stephen Eastmead – and this includes a guide to processing LiDAR data using a freely available GIS package – https://www.eastmead.com/index.php One of Stephen’s models is below – that of East Matfen village in Northumberland.
For those with access to GIS software to process and present the data – you can download LiDAR data from http://environment.data.gov.uk/ds/survey/#/survey
The data will need processing to make the most of the data – below is the first view of the data from Eske in East Yorkshire – earthworks are visible – but needs processing to reveal all the features.
On-line viewers of LiDAR data are available for those without the knowledge or time to process the data. The main one being: https://houseprices.io/lab/lidar/map. There is not complete coverage of the country – but there are many notable sites visible – a couple are shown below:
More and more data is becoming readily available through sites such as these.