5 More Lost Yorkshire Places

After the fantastic response from our first post about lost Yorkshire villages we have decided to create another article featuring five more lost communities across our County.

1. Lotherton – The village swallowed by its hall

Lotherton Hall – Mike Kirkby

The only thing that remains of the village of Lotherton is of course its hall and medieval chapel, which now houses a well known bird garden. In Medieval Times it was a village , known as Lutterington and Lutterton and carried on being a settlement in its own right into the 19th Century. Over the beginning of this century the village, decreased in size, leaving only the hall grounds and a few farms by 1840. The remains of Lotherton village were amalgamated into neighbouring Aberford in 1908 and is now famous only for its hall and bird garden.


   2. Magnum – The quarry hamlet

Land near the disused Magnum quarry at Hade Edge. Picture credit: John Fielding wikipedia creative commons
Land near the disused Magnum quarry at Hade Edge. Picture credit: John Fielding wikipedia creative commons

This hamlet, just outside the village of Hade Edge near Holmfirth was built for the workers of a local sandstone quarry, called Magnum Bonum, which opened in the 1830s. Originally there were nine stonemasons who moved here and brought with them labourers, builders and their families to form the small community of Magnum. At its height there was a pub, church, Sunday school and Mission Hall, which were used by the sixty residents who worked at the quarry. Unfortunately once the work dried up at the quarry so did the village. By the 1950s the church and other buildings were demolished, leaving piles of stones on the moorland where it once stood.

3.Tanshelf – Disappeared with the mines

The lost village of Tanshelf was situated on the edge of Pontefract and had a long history. It played a part in Royal history, when King Edred met with the ruling Council for Northumbria in the year 947 to try and obtain their support against the invading Vikings. Tanshelf was also mentioned in the Domesday book as a village in the region of Pontefract with a population of around 101 people, making it a sizeable village for its day complete with its church, fishery and mills.

Moving forward several centuries to the Industrial Revolution, Tanshelf became a mining village and several terraced houses were built in the 1870s to house the pit workers and their families at the nearby Prince of Wales Colliery. The area was known for its close knit community spirit where everyone knew each other, until it was demolished in 1971 and replaced by the Tanshelf Industrial Estate. In modern day Tanshelf the road patterns are still the same but the only things that remain are the train station and the Queen Hotel, which are now flats.

4.Arras – Home of the Iron Age barrows

Excavation at Arras, East Yorkshire – MAP Archeology

The ancient settlement of Arras, just outside Market Weighton had the most significance in ancient times. There have been many discoveries near this abandoned settlement which suggests human activity dating up to the 15th Century. Taxation records suggest that Arras had a population in excess of 35 people. The most notable event in its history was the discovery of an Iron Age “barrow cemetery,” known as the “Arras Culture in 1815.

Across three fields in Arras, one hundred barrows and chariots were found buried beneath the ground. These are on display at the British and Yorkshire Museums. Further excavations around the site of Arras uncovered pottery dating from the 15th Century and the possible site of a chapel.

5.Owthorne – Bodies washed on the shore

Owthorne church perched on the end of a cliff before its demise around 1838

Owthorne is one of the many lost Yorkshire villages which lay under the North Sea. Having watched surrounding villages on the coast meeting a watery end, the villagers of Owthorne took steps to ensure the same thing did not happen to them. In 1793 the church stood just 12ft from the sea and so some of the gravestones were dug up and buried elsewhere.

Owthorne hung on for a few years, until it finally perished around 1838, where the remaining bodies from, the graveyard washed up on the beach. Traces of the old village that remained were amalgamated with nearby Withernsea and the old mere, which stood between the two settlements, are now the Valley Gardens.