From The Neolithic To The Sea: A Journey From The Past To The Present

Gainsthorpe Village

Lost Village
53° 29′ 52.51″ N 0° 33′ 37.12″ W
Pre 1086

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Gainsthorpe Village is a deserted and lost medieval village, located in a field which is part of Gainsthorpe Farm, south of Hibaldstow, Lincolnshire.

The village of ‘Gamelstorp’ is listed in the Domesday Book of 1086, owned by the Norman lord Ivo Taillebois. The small village or hamlet was assessed for tax as having just one carucate of arable land.

By 1208, the village had grown in size, with at least 19 fields surrounding the village, occupying 108 acres. The village also had a chapel, a windmill and a bridge.

In 1343, land at Gainsthorpe was granted to the small priory of Newstead-on-Ancholme. It is thought that the village was affected by the Black Death in 1348–9, causing the village to decline. Some of the village survived and became part of the estate of the Duchy of Cornwall by the late 14th and 15th centuries.

The village was deserted by 1616, when a survey for the Duchy of Cornwall noted ‘neither tofte, tenement or cottage standing’.

At the end of the 17th century the Yorkshire antiquary Abraham de la Pryme visited the village site. He noted the ruined foundations of buildings in abandoned streets. He thought the village had probably been abandoned to sheep pasture, part of a regional shift from arable to more profitable pastoral agriculture.

Gainsthorpe is now in the care of English Heritage.