Deserted and Shrunken Medieval Settlements


The project area has substantial vestiges of medieval settlements.  The project will investigate Brignall Shrunken Medieval Village by means of a geophysical survey followed by targeted trenching to clarify the nature and extent of the remains of the  village. Volunteers will be involved in both elements of the project and will receive training in archaeological excavation, survey, recording and interpretation techniques.

The village of Brignall is one of many settlements that underwent a significant reduction in size and prosperity in the later medieval period. What are thought to be traces of former buildings and tofts have been identified on aerial photographs immediately south of the present village. There are a few fields bounded by ditches, but much of the area is disturbed with no set pattern, and no trace of house platforms. At the time of the Domesday survey, Brignall was composed of 12 carucates of land, all waste, but the village must have been of some importance in 1265 to have been granted an annual and weekly market. There were 4 mills in the village in 1712. 

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