Tuesday, 19 April 2011

The Lost Village

"Clopton.....deserted......medieval village - site of......good local example....remember it for the exam!"

Thus spoke the aged schoolmaster. And like a good scholar I memorised it as instructed. Whether I used it in the exam I really can't recall, but despite living within a few miles of "medieval village - site of" for most of my life I'd never taken the time to visit - until today.

So I got my bicycle from the shed and set out. Wherever possible I travelled by minor roads, farm tracks and bridleways.

I pedalled through the delightfully named parish of Shingay-cum-Wendy, which with the sun shining, looked every bit as attractive as its name sugests.

I turned off the road and onto a narrow grassy track which led me to the site of the deserted village. Not much to see, of course, after five hundred years of neglect, though the mounds and hummocks indicated where the buildings once stood and the line of the former high street could clearly be seen.

The village had probably never been large and then the effects of Black Death and economic decline reduced the population still further till only a handful of souls remained. At this stage (about 1489) the local landowner decided that sheep were more profitable than people and took over the land for that purpose. Today only cowslips inhabit this forgotten land.


Take care.

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