A topographic survey was undertaken of the deserted village of West Burton.
The village is situated on the western bank of a former meander of the River Trent to the south of Gainsborough.
The neck of the meander was broken through when the River Trent changed its course in 1797, and this began a decline in the villages fate, the village was abandoned in the 1860s. The village church, dedicated to St. Helen was demolished in 1886. The village therefore offers a rare example of a link between the medieval and the modern village, presenting an exceptional opportunity to study the remains of a village fossilized in the 18th century.
A map of the site was produced in 1750 by Sheffield surveyors the Fairbanks, and shows buildings, earthworks and field boundaries, along with the names of the occupiers and tenants. On the eastern side, the map depicts the River Trent curving through the meander of Burton Round. By 1750 the main street
runs perpendicular to the river, with single and double story buildings on either side. The map also shows a number of yard and field boundaries, an orchard, gardens, and possibly the village pinfold. This street appears to be the nucleus of the village at this time. To the south of this street at some distance stands the village church, which has one range of windows along the nave, and a small bell tower. To the west of this, a large farm house with a range of out-buildings occupies a prominent position.
The survey was able to interpret earthworks on the ground using this 1750 map and modern surveying techniques.