Place:Wharram Percy, East Riding of Yorkshire, England

NameWharram Percy
Alt namesWharram Percysource: from redirect
Warransource: Domesday Book (1985) p 309
Warrronsource: Domesday Book (1985) p 309
TypeDeserted settlement, Parish (ancient), Civil parish
Coordinates54.066°N 0.694°W
Located inEast Riding of Yorkshire, England     (1974 - )
Also located inYorkshire, England    
North Yorkshire, England     (1974 - )
See alsoBuckrose Wapentake, East Riding of Yorkshire, Englandwapentake in which it was located
Norton Rural, East Riding of Yorkshire, Englandrural district in which the parish was situated
Wharram, East Riding of Yorkshire, Englandcivil parish into which it was merged in 1935
Ryedale District, North Yorkshire, Englandadministrative district in which it is now located
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
source: Family History Library Catalog

Wharram Percy was originally an ancient parish in Buckrose Wapentake in the East Riding of Yorkshire. The parish was located southwest of the parish of Wharram le Street, north of Raisthorpe and Burdale, and east of Birdsall. It contained the deserted village from which it was named and which is described below.

In 1866 the status of civil parish was introduced and this was taken on by most ancient parishes and also by their subsidiary townships if they were of any size at all. In 1866 both Wharram Percy and its townships of Raisthorpe and Burdale, Thixendale and Towthorpe (near Driffield) became civil parishes. In 1894 they each became part of the Norton Rural District of the East Riding.

In 1935 the civil parishes of Wharram Percy, Raisthorpe and Burdale and Wharram le Street merged to form the civil parish of Wharram, still within the Norton Rural District.

In 1974 rural districts were abolished and the border between the East Riding of Yorkshire and the North Riding of Yorkshire was realigned. The North Riding changed its name to North Yorkshire. Since 1974 Wharram has been in North Yorkshire, specifically within the Ryedale District. It would appear that since the re-organization of 1974, the name of the parish has reverted from Wharram back to Wharram le Street. (source: Wikipedia)

The Deserted Village of Wharram Percy

the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Wharram Percy is a deserted medieval village (DMV) site on the western edge of the chalk Wolds in North Yorkshire, England. The site is about one mile south of Wharram-le-Street and is clearly signposted from the B1248 Beverley to Malton road. . Until 1974 the village lay within the historic county boundaries of the East Riding of Yorkshire.

Wharram Percy is perhaps the best-known DMV in the whole of England, although there are several others which are in a similarly good state of preservation. The reason for its celebrity is that it was researched each summer by combined teams of archaeologists, historians and even botanists, from circa 1950 to 1990 following its identification in 1948 by Professor Maurice Beresford of the University of Leeds.

Although the site has apparently been settled since pre-historic times, the village seems to have been most active from the tenth to the twelfth centuries. It is mentioned in the 1086 Domesday Book as Warran or Warron. The Black Death of 1348–49 does not seem to have played a significant part in the desertion of Wharram Percy although the large fall in population in the country as a whole at that time must have made relocation to a less remote spot more likely. The villagers of Wharram Percy seem to have suffered instead from changes in prices and wages in the 15th century, which gave pastoral farming (particularly of sheep) an advantage over traditional cereal farming. The village was finally abandoned in the early 16th century when the lord of the manor turned out the last few families and knocked down their homes to make room for extra sheep pasturage.

It is now in the care of English Heritage. Although only the ruined church is easily visible above ground, much more of the village layout can be seen in the surrounding fields. English Heritage has recently installed new panels around the site, as well as an audio tour downloadable, in MP3 format, from the English Heritage website. A guidebook is available from surrounding, manned, English Heritage sites.

A scientific study published in 2004 of human skeletal remains from the deserted village sheds light on disease, diet and death in a rural medieval community.

A Tracker Pack for families that covers the site can be hired from Malton Tourist Information Centre.

The Yorkshire Wolds Way National Trail and the Centenary Way, long-distance footpaths pass to the east of the village.

Research Tips

  • GENUKI on Wharram Percy.
  • A Vision of Britain through Time on Wharram Percy..
  • The FamilySearch wiki on the ecclesiastical parish of Wharram Percy provides a list of useful resources for the local area.
  • A Vision of Britain through Time also provides links to three maps of the East Riding, produced by the United Kingdom Ordnance Survey, illustrating the boundaries between the civil parishes and the rural districts at various dates. These maps all blow up to a scale that will illustrate small villages and large farms or estates.
  • For a discussion of where to find Archive Offices in Yorkshire, see GENUKI.
  • Yorkshire has a large number of family history and genealogical societies. A list of the societies will be found on the Yorkshire, England page.
This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original content was at Wharram Percy. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with WeRelate, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.