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The Villages of the Yorkshire Wolds

Cowlam

The site of Cowlam, a tiny hamlet set high on the Yorkshire Wolds can be found along the B1253. There is little to see other than eight houses and a farm!.

About half a mile down the road is a chalk field which now covers the remains of a Bronze Age encampment which is the original site of Cowlam village. An archaeological dig was undertaken in 1978 after 10,000 Roman coins were discovered in a field some years earlier. Some items were unearthed which are now in storage at the East Riding Museum in Hull which holds lots of information about Medieval living in and around the Yorkshire Wolds.

The village of Cowlam, which means the top of a hill, can be found 700 feet above sea level, and was anciently known as Colume and Coleham. It was left deserted after the Black Death swept across Britain. Houses were left empty and crops withered, all that remains is a chalk field which covers all evidence of the buildings and the strip farming which once was Cowlam.

Still to be found not far away from the village site is the beautiful but tiny bellcot church dedicated to St Mary. The church now finds itself in standing amongst barns and bales in Manor Farm stackyard. The building is of stone in Gothic style and stands on the site of the original building. There is a chancel, a nave, and south facing porch and a turret on the western gable which houses one bell. There is a magnificent Norman Font with the most wonderful carvings in the stone. The Vicarage stands nearby and is a beautiful brick building which dates back to the late 1880’s.

The two farms that surround the church are Manor Farm and Church Farm, which are worked by the Connor and Hood families respectively.

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