I was lucky enough to enjoy a little wander (motorised variety) around the Wolds this week. Even though the weather wasn’t brilliant this underrated stretch of Yorkshire countryside provided a wonderful backdrop. Hidden dips, rolling hills and cosy villages helped create a pleasant journey as I headed for Wharram Percy. I hadn’t been to the deserted medieval village since long before English Heritage and archeologists did extensive work there in June 2002. The deserted village was first laid out around the tenth century and is mentioned in the Domesday Book. It survived the devastation caused by William the Conqueror’s ‘Harrying of the North’ and the Black Death but was abandoned soon after 1500 when the lord of the manor, Baron Hilton, evicted the last four families and demolished their houses to make way for more sheep pasture. The use of the village’s church, St Martin’s, continued for a further 400 years, but tailed off sharply when a new church was built in the nearby Thixendale in 1870. Today it is a peaceful and interesting place and a highlight along a long distance path the Wolds Way. Look out for more in a future Dalesman.

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  1. Linda Murray

    THANK YOU for your fantastic articles and accompanying breathtaking photographs… every pic was as good as the next – Bolton Abbey with the snow on the ground – Ribbleshead, the Wolds, the banks of the Ribble – on “Top Withens”… now where on earth does a name like that come from! which brings me to the “iconic” woollen Mills of Bradford and the Council’s marketing of Sadly, not much else left in Bradford anymore, to lay claim to? I did not know that Mr. Brunty was from Ireland-Northern?
    I went back as far as 12 Oct. to read your news about your wanderings and I feel as though I am transported into the areas, as I am reading through your accounts –
    I think too that the Cow & Calf at Ilkley definitely needs to be considered among Yorkshire’s “icons”, along with what you have already mentioned – treasured stone walls, Aysgarth Falls, Malham Cove, Fountains Abbey, Rievaulx Abbey, Whitby, Cliffords Hill… not forgetting all the solid Dales farms and barns, especially in the are with that wonderful sounding name, Yockenthwaite –
    by the way, quite a drive to get there too!
    the idea of ‘holiday pods’ is very sensible – the “celebs” could raffle off a few and take on the responsibility of maintaining them? adopt them as projects, giving back and building up the/their/ Yorkshire heritage etc. I like the Christmas touch of the snow falling across the page as am finishing off –


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