Thousands of villages and smaller settlements were deserted in England and Wales, mostly between 1340 and 1750. Why were they deserted? Why did some villages survive while others were abandoned? Who was responsible for their desertion? What can we learn about life in the countryside from a study of the deserted sites? These questions have preoccupied archaeologists, geographers and historians since the sites were first recognised in the 1940s. Now ten leading experts in the subject have come together to revisit the deserted villages, and reveal much new evidence and new thinking about these fascinating sites.
Christopher Dyer has been Professor of Regional and Local History and Director of the Centre for English Local History at the University of Leicester since 2003. Dr Richard Jones is a Lecturer in Landscape History at the University of Leicester. Dr Jones has previously worked for the Sussex Archaeological Society and the University of Cardiff.