This blog accompanies a web page dedicated to the study of Deserted Medieval Settlements. The website was made possible by a generous legacy bequeathed to the University of Hull by Professor Maurice Beresford. The first launch of the website has concentrated on those settlements identified as being deserted in the seminal publication of 1971, edited by Maurice Beresford and John Hurst entitled ‘Deserted Medieval Villages’. This produced a consolidated list of what were then classed as Deserted Medieval Villages (DMV) in 1968, 2,263 in total. These are villages which appear in documentary sources such as the Domesday Book, medieval tax records and maps, but have since seen a dramatic decline in population to the extent that at some point they have been classed as deserted. The reasons for this desertion are varied, whether from land exhaustion, coastal erosion, a change in land use or the whim of wealthy landowners. Each of the settlements listed as known in 1968 has an individual page which explores a range of datasets for the settlement. In the near future it is hoped that all these sites will also contain a description of the site and links to further sources. For the time being this is only possible for a few counties. The future development of the website hopes to add all the settlements that have been identified since 1968 which will at least double the number of settlements listed. This blog will keep you informed of future developments and updates.
The project is based in the Department of History, University of Hull. Project Directors are Dr Helen Fenwick and Professor Michael Turner. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org