Thousands of villages and smaller settlements were deserted in England and Wales, mostly between 1340 and 1750. Why were they deserted? Why did some villages survive while others were abandoned? Who was responsible for their desertion? What can we learn about life in the countryside from a study of the deserted sites? These questions have preoccupied archaeologists, geographers and historians since the sites were first recognised in the 1940s. Now ten leading experts in the subject have come together to revisit the deserted villages, and reveal much new evidence and new thinking about these fascinating sites.