Wharram le Percy

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This beautiful medieval village was abandoned in the 16th century and remains the best known and possibly best-preserved of Britain's abandoned medieval villages.

The reasons for its abandonment were long thought to have been as a result of one of the many plagues and pestilences that laid waste to Britain through the Middle Ages. However, it is now thought the village was gradually depopulated due to changes in farming practice - with the move away from cereal production to pastoral farming (mainly of sheep) upsetting demographics and incomes. Eventually, the Lord of the Manor turfed out the remaining families and most of the village was demolished and turned over to the sheep.

Today, the honey-coloured ruins of what remain stand peacefully in the valley and the lives of those who lived in those long-abandoned ruins are the focus of continual study to understand what caused them to leave this beautiful and remote valley.

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Author: Ian Freud | © Weird Island 2010-2020
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