Wharram Percy Deserted Medieval Village

Wharram Percy Deserted Medieval Village what's on yorkshire


Wharram Percy is one of the most significant and best preserved of Britain’s deserted medieval villages and the subject of an archaeological study for over six decades. Researchers have delved deep into the past of Wharram Percy to unearth the mysteries of its medieval life and subsequent desertion.

The Allure of Wharram Percy

Nestled along the valleys of the Yorkshire Wolds, Wharram Percy has a rich history spanning six centuries until its abandonment around the 16th century. Visitors can walk through the vestiges of this once-bustling community, with discernible outlines of dwellings on a verdant plateau. Here lies the intersection of nature and history, with the prominent ruins of the church and the old millpond serving as silent testaments to a bygone era.

Visitor Access Information:

  • Walking Route: A scenic walk from the car park, approximately ¾ mile in length, parts of which may be steep and muddy.
  • Terrain: The site features rugged terrain, which might pose challenges for visitors. Not accessible for wheelchairs or buggies.
  • Pathways: Visitors are requested to stay on the designated paths to respect the privacy of the surrounding private lands.

History Unearthed at Wharram Percy

With origins tracing back to the 9th or 10th century, Wharram Percy blossomed from the 12th century, reaching its zenith as the noble Percy family made it their home. However, by the 1500s, the village faced gradual desertion, culminating in abandonment and evictions. Today, the sole medieval structure still standing is the church, encircled by the remnants of manorial and peasant dwellings. Since 1948, Wharram Percy has been a focal point for extensive archaeological research, earning it the status of Europe’s most renowned deserted medieval village.

Parking and Accessibility:

  • No direct vehicular access to the site.
  • Considerate parking is requested to avoid obstruction.
  • Parking fees: £2 for non-members (payable by text); free for members displaying an English Heritage car sticker.
  • Advance parking payment available online.

Dog-Friendly Site:

Dogs are welcome but must be kept on leads.

Important Notices:

  • Farm livestock may be encountered on the paths.
  • Hunting parties could be active during the season on access routes.

Plan Your Visit

Positioned a mere 25 minutes from Kirkham Priory’s riverside ruins, Wharram Percy offers an enchanting detour. Refreshments are available at a quaint shop within the priory, alongside a picnic area for a leisurely break. Perfectly situated between the historical landmarks of Scarborough Castle and Clifford’s Tower in York, Wharram Percy serves as an ideal pit stop between city and coast explorations.


Wharram Percy Deserted Medieval Village, Centenary Way, Wharram-le-Street, Malton, North Yorkshire, YO17 9TD
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