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.