Excavation summary. During the middle ages, the area of pre-1972 County Durham formed the core of an ecclesiastical Palatinate, whose agrarian estates were administered through a changing system of major freehold and demesne tenancies, reflected in an intermingled pattern of dispersed and nucleated settlements. Among these, the earthwork sites of over 50 fully deserted medieval villages are known, and there are uncounted instances of shrinkage.' The evidence for village abandonment has a marked distribution on a broad arc over the East Durham Plateau and southwards through the Skerne and Middle Tees valleys, in generally good farming regions which may have absorbed their maximum village settlement during the 12th and 13th centuries when pressure on the arable resources intensified. From the 14th century the failure of the village and open field system in this region was severe, reaching its peak during the late 15th and 16th centuries, but continuing also through the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries.
- Softcover: 93 pages
- Language: English
- Illustrations: Colour/Black & White
- ISSN: 05839106
- Product Dimensions: 29.5 x 21.0 x 0.5 cm