Discover the lost village of Wharram Percy

  • Discover the lost village of Wharram Percy © Mike Kipling
    Discover the lost village of Wharram Percy © Mike Kipling
Located in a picturesque setting, Wharram Percy is the most famous deserted medieval village in Britain.

It is difficult to imagine today that Wharram Percy would have been a busy village between the 12th and 14th centuries. Now managed by English Heritage, many of the buildings that helped to make the village flourish have gone, with only remnants visible as excavated sites, ditches or banks.

The village is considered the most famous deserted medieval village in Britain. Excavations took place every year from the 1950s to 1990. These have uncovered lots of information about how our ancestors lived, with new stories still unfolding. Most recently archaeologists have uncovered more about the villagers belief in the “living dead” where bodies were decapitated, dismembered and burnt in the belief that it would prevent them from rising from their graves, spreading disease and attacking the living!

Our walk also takes a wander down the old Malton & Driffield Railway line to the former Wharram Quarry. This site is now managed by the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust. Wharram Quarry is home to many of the characteristic flowering plants that thrive on the thin Wolds soil. Butterflies flit from flower to flower and in the sky you many see and hear the buzzards that nest in the nearby woods.

Downloads

Location map

© Crown copyright and database rights 2013. Ordnance Survey 100021930.
Start: 
Wharram Percy Deserted Village car park
Distance: 
5.6 km (3.5 miles)
Time: 
3 hours
OS Map: 
OS 300

Podcast

An audio tour around the village, produced by English Heritage.