Monument record MLI40581 - East Wykeham Deserted Medieval Village


The deserted medieval village of East Wykeham that appears to have become essentially depopulated in the sixteenth century.

Type and Period (2)

Protected Status/Designation

Full Description

The name of the village, and parish, derives from the Old English Wic-ham (and Old Norse Wic-heim) which seems to have denoted proximity to a Romano-British settlement.{1} Both East and West Wykeham are very close to the known extensive Roman settlement at Ludford (see PRN40610). The earthworks of the village are visible in aerial photographs and were plotted by staff of the National Mapping Programme in the 1990s.{2} East Wykeham occurs in Domesday Book where a holding of only half a bovate was part of a manor at South Cadeby and a further 5 bovates and 10 acres of meadow were sokeland of South Cadeby. There was another half a bovate that is recorded as waste. There was a minimum population of five people at that time. There is no manor in East Wykeham recorded in Domesday. In the Lindsey survey of 1115 the holdings of 5 and a half bovates in East Wykeham are in the hands of Alan of Lincoln and a further two bovates held by the Bishop of Lincoln.{3} The church at East Wykeham was granted to Sixhills Priory in the mid twelfth century; half from Supir de Bayeux and half from Ralf of Grimblethorpe. Included within these gifts were tofts and land in East Wykeham.{4} In the 1334 lay subsidy returns East and West Wykeham are combined with a joint value of £1 15s. This is below average for the wapentake suggesting that the village was already in decline.{5} In the poll tax returns of 1377 for Loutheske wapentake, West Wykeham was joined with East Wykeham with a total of 59 taxpayers. It seems likely that the majority of these were in East Wykeham.{6} By 1428 the village was continuing to decline as in the parish tax returns both East Wykeham and West Wykeham are separately noted as parishes with fewer than ten households,{7} and in July of 1519 the vicar of East Wykeham church celebrated Mass but once a week, if that, suggesting that the number of households had not risen and may have actually fallen. In addition, the vicarage had completely collapsed.{8} The village continued to lose population in the 17th century. In 1602 both the church and the chancel were described as being 'in some decay and likely to be in more want for that there are few or no parishioners'. In 1603 there were only three communicants in the parish.{9} In 1637 the Reverend Thomas Master travelled to East Wykeham to be inducted as the new parson at the church. He wrote a letter to his father describing his experiences. He arrived in East Wykeham to stay with Mr Jenkinson at the one house in the village. He took formal possession of his benefice in the ruins of the church in a neighbouring meadow.{10} The Jenkinson family, of Lincoln, still had their country seat at East Wykeham in 1705 when the diocesan census records two families in the parish, one the family of Mr Robert Jenkinson and the other that of his shepherd. It seems that the village was effectively deserted and turned over to sheep.{11} East Wykeham did continue as a parish into the nineteenth century although there was no longer a standing church. The population of the parish area during the nineteenth century fluctuated from 23 to 37 people, seemingly the population of Wykeham Hall and the one farm in the parish. East Wykeham actually became extra parochial in the 1850s.{12} In 1855 the Child family purchased the village lands from the Pownall family who had themselves purchased them from the Jenkinsons in the 1750s.{13} In 1864 the Childs constructed a family vault on the site of the original church and reused some of the surviving stonework of this church in creating a folly within their park that by this time included the earthworks of the former village of East Wykeham (see PRN 47627).

Sources/Archives (13)

  •  Bibliographic Reference: Kenneth Cameron. 1998. A Dictionary of Lincolnshire Place-Names. p.145.
  •  Map: Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England. 1992-1996. National Mapping Programme. TF2288: LI.302.2.1-5.
  •  Bibliographic Reference: C.W. Foster and T. Longley. 1924. Lincolnshire Domesday and Lindsey Survey. DB 16/27, 27/31-32; LS 18/7, 11.
  •  Bibliographic Reference: Stenton, F. M. (ed.). 1922. Transcripts of Charters relating to the Gilbertine Houses of Sixle, Ormsby, Catley, Bullington, and Alvingham. No.11, p.5; No.52, p.29; No.53, p.30, No.64, p.36.
  •  Article in Serial: R.E. Glasscock. 1964. 'The Lay Subsidy of 1334 for Lincolnshire' in Lincolnshire Architectural and Archaeological Society Reports and Papers. vol.10.2, p.131.
  •  Bibliographic Reference: Graham Platts. 1985. Land and People in Medieval Lincolnshire. appendix 2, p.306.
  •  Bibliographic Reference: BERESFORD, M.W.. 1954. The Lost Villages of England. p.310.
  •  Bibliographic Reference: Thompson, A. Hamilton. 1940. Visitations in the Diocese of Lincoln 1517-1531, vol.1, Visitations of Rural Deaneries by William Atwater, Bishop of Lincoln 1517-1520. p.73.
  •  Bibliographic Reference: Foster, C.W.. 1926. The State of the Church in the Reigns of Elizabeth and James I. pp.86, 230, 241, 323, 426.
  •  Bibliographic Reference: Sinclair, A. C.. 1992. 'A glimpse of Lincolnshire in 1637' in Lincolnshire Past and Present. vol.7, pp.18-19.
  •  Bibliographic Reference: R.E.G. Cole. 1913. Speculum Dioeceseos Lincolniensis sub Episcopis Gul: Wake et Edm: Gibson A.D.1705-1723. Part 1: Archdeaconries of Lincoln and Stow. p.141.
  •  Bibliographic Reference: William Page (ed). 1906. The Victoria County History: Lincolnshire - Volume 2. p.372.
  •  Bibliographic Reference: William White. 1856. History, Gazetteer and Directory of Lincolnshire - Second Edition. p.239.



Grid reference Centred TF 2240 8837 (723m by 624m) Estimated from sources

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

Related Events/Activities (0)

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Record last edited

Mar 21 2021 8:35PM


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