Stretton Magna deserted village, two fishponds and moated site.


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1010201

Date first listed: 20-Oct-1977

Date of most recent amendment: 20-Feb-1992


Ordnance survey map of Stretton Magna deserted village, two fishponds and moated site.
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Leicestershire

District: Harborough (District Authority)

Parish: Little Stretton

National Grid Reference: SK 65715 00375


Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

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.

Also sometimes associated with deserted settlements are moated sites which often served as prestigious manorial residences. Such moated sites form a significant class of medieval monument and are important for the understanding of the distribution of wealth and status in the countryside. The village site at Stretton Magna is one of the best surviving examples of its type in Leicestershire displaying a wide variety of features together with a manorial complex. The date of desertion is also known, which will aid further archaeological study.


Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.


The monument at Stretton Magna is situated south of the Roman Gartree Road, 5km east of Leicester. It includes extensive earthworks of a deserted medieval village with a moated site, two fishponds and part of the associated field system, located around the medieval St Giles's Church.

The site occupies two large modern fields and covers an area measuring over 300m square. A series of hollow ways up to 0.75m deep denoting village streets cross the site, the most prominent of which measures up to 10m wide and leads from the east to the church. There are many small crofts and tofts marked by house platforms and enclosures containing banks about 0.5 high and a larger house platform measuring 25m square situated between the church and the road. A boundary ditch runs west of the church, beyond which is medieval ridge and furrow ploughing aligned in two directions which give an indication of the cultivated strips and are thus an integral part of the monument. A manorial complex is located to the south of the village, the major component of which is a rectangular moated site. The moat measures 70 x 60m including an outer bank on the eastern and southern sides and contains a ditch up to 2m deep and 10-12m wide. Situated to the north and south-east of the moat are two fishponds. The northern fishpond is embanked and measures 35 x 12m and is 2-3m deep from the top of the banks. The second fishpond also measures 35 x l2m but is not embanked and survives as a marshy area fed by a ditch coming down from the north.

Stretton Magna, known as Great Stretton, is listed in Domesday book. In 1381 there were 21 taxed persons. Some enclosure took place shortly before 1500 by Thomas Kebell but the major enclosure which led to depopulation was between 1640-70.

The church and its surrounding burial ground which remain in active use, are not included in the scheduling.

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.

Legacy System number: 17080

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Hoskins, W G, 'Transactions of the Leicestershire Arch & Historical Society' in Seven Deserted Village Sites in Leicestershire (Volume 32), , Vol. 32, (1956), 42-3

End of official listing