Protecting Ashby St Ledgers

Tiny, deserted, medieval villages across the English landscape have been disappearing, moving English Heritage to recommend historical designation to preserve what is left. Now the government of Northamptonshire is taking action by proclaiming such villages "scheduled monuments."

Most of the villages in Northamptonshire date to the 9th or 10th centuries and are mentioned in the Domesday Book, including Little Oxendon, Walgrave, Steane, Clipston, Horton, Ashby St Ledgers and Kirby. Some are nothing more than earthworks used as grazing land.

Sarah Gibson, of English Heritage, said: "Northampton's abandoned villages are repositories of information about the past and archaeologists will be able to use the remains of the villages to tell us more about the social life and economy of Northamptonshire many hundreds of years ago."