Stormsworth deserted medieval village and fishpond


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
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Date first listed:
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Ordnance survey map of Stormsworth deserted medieval village and fishpond
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Harborough (District Authority)
Westrill and Starmore
National Grid Reference:
SP 58130 80805

Reasons for Designation

The village, comprising a small group of houses, gardens, yards, streets, paddocks, often with a green, a manor and a church, and with a community devoted primarily to agriculture, was a significant component of the rural landscape in most areas of medieval England, much as it is today. Villages provided some services to the local community and acted as the main focal point of ecclesiastical, and often of manorial, administration within each parish. Although the sites of many of these villages have been occupied continuously down to the present day, many others declined in size or were abandoned throughout the medieval and post-medieval periods, particularly during the 14th and 15th centuries. As a result over 2000 deserted medieval villages are recorded nationally. The reasons for desertion were varied but often reflected declining economic viability, changes in land use such as enclosure or emparkment, or population fluctuations as a result of widespread epidemics such as the Black Death. As a consequence of their abandonment these villages are frequently undisturbed by later occupation and contain well-preserved archaeological deposits. Because they are a common and long-lived monument type in most parts of England, they provide important information on the diversity of medieval settlement patterns and farming economy between the regions and through time.

The deserted village site at Stormsworth survives well. It possesses more documentary evidence than most similar sites in Leicestershire and has links with the important abbey at Selby in Yorkshire.


The site at Stormsworth is situated to the north of the South Kilworth to Swinford road on ground sloping down to a stream which forms its western boundary. It includes the earthwork remains of the site of a deserted medieval village and an adjoining fishpond.

The earthworks occupy an area with maximum dimensions of over 300 x 300m. A hollow-way measuring a maximum of 8m wide and 1.5m deep runs from the south-west to the north-east and is joined by a series of house platforms which are mainly situated to the centre of the area. Well preserved medieval ridge and furrow ploughing, considered an integral part of the monument, occurs on part of the western slope extending to the top of the ridge where it adjoins the village boundary which is demarcated by a ditch. In the south- west corner of the site is a square fishpond surviving in a marshy area and measuring about 35 x 35m. The fishpond adjoins the road to the south and the stream to the west.

Stormsworth, also known as Starmore, is listed in Domesday Book as possessing two manors. Between 1069-1086 it was given to Selby Abbey in Yorkshire and retained by it until the Dissolution in 1539. In 1086 there were 15 families and as many as 35 households by the time of Edward I. The village is also known to have contained a chapel dependent on Swinford which is thought to be located on the north-east side of the area. The site became depopulated by order of the abbey by 1500.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

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Books and journals
Hoskins, WG, Essays in Leicestershire History, (1950)


This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

End of official listing

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