Friday, 20 April 2012

Newsham Deserted Village (NZ383110)

Meaning, ironically, ‘the new dwelling’, the deserted medieval village of Newsham sits on the northern bank of a wide curve of the River Tees, a few miles upstream from Yarm. Only a few house foundations and earthworks remain today – abandoned by 1600, the historians tell us, and ‘seldom occurring in the records’.

Surveys conducted on and around the site have been able to trace a central ‘hollow-way’, bounded by 8 plots, or tofts  –  as well as another eleven ‘house platforms’ thereabouts and a chapel site (St.James). Ridge and furrow can be discerned in fields around and about.

Newsham was (and, I suppose, still is) an ancient township of the parish of Eaglescliffe. Despite the early demise of the village itself, ‘Newsham’ lives on in the names Newsham House, Hall and Grange, but the original estate has now been thoroughly dismantled. It seems the farming folk round these parts regularly gathered to partake in various social get-togethers, despite the absence of a real ‘settlement’. Those days are, however, fast fading into history.

There’s not much to see at the site, but there is a nice picture of the grassy expanse in this document.

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