My intention is to review the archaeological evidence for English towns between the fourteenth and mid-sixteenth centuries – the period for which historians consider that there is the most evidence for an urban decline. In terms of this historical debate, I am taking ‘decline’ to mean essentially a marked reduction in economic activity and its socio-economic consequences and, in terms of an individual town, its condition has to be seen in relation to its earlier activity and/or in relation to its contemporary counterparts in the same region.