Close your eyes and imagine it is over 1000 years ago. You are sitting in the middle of a peaceful green field, and all around you there is nothing except more green fields and a few tiny stone dwellings.
You live in a small village called ‘Yoden’.
Your parents are poor farmers and you all live in a one roomed stone cottage. You have never been to school, you can’t read of write, you spend all of your time tending to geese and goats. Sometimes you help your parents to farm the land.
All of your land is owned by St. Cuthbert.
Between 900 and 915 AD, in the time of Bishop Cutheard, a large Viking host, led by the pagan King Reignwald, landed on the Northumbrian coast. The Vikings quickly headed south and launched a major attack on Yorkshire, meeting very little opposition.
They were very successful and as a reward, Reignwald allowed two of his generals, Scula and Onlafbal, to take possession of all of St. Cuthberts land (East Durham).
Scula was particularly vicious and wasted no time in plundering and burning the settlements on this land, between (and including) Yoden (or Joden) in the north and Billingham in the south.
Some people think that this was the end of Yoden, others think it was the plague that wiped out the settlement, or maybe even the local squire emptied it so that he could extend his agricultural lands in the 1700’s.
Either way, there can be little doubt that this Yoden is the same Yoden that once stood on the ground of Peterlee.
Officially Yoden Village is now classed as a ‘deserted mediaeval village’ and lies just to the north of Peterlee’s football ground, off Eden Lane.
A recent study has been completed (2004) giving more comprehensive details:
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