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Alstoe Moot and part of Alsthorpe deserted medieval village

List Entry Summary

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 Culture, Media and Sport.

Name: Alstoe Moot and part of Alsthorpe deserted medieval village

List entry Number: 1010671


The monument may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.


District: Rutland

District Type: Unitary Authority

Parish: Burley

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 28-Jan-1953

Date of most recent amendment: 04-Sep-1991

Legacy System Information

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

Legacy System: RSM

UID: 17009

Asset Groupings

This list entry does not comprise part of an Asset Grouping. Asset Groupings are not part of the official record but are added later for information.

List entry Description

Summary of Monument

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

Reasons for Designation

Moots were open-air meeting places set aside for use by courts and other bodies who were responsible for the administration and organisation of the countryside in Anglo-Saxon and medieval England. They were located at convenient, conspicuous or well-known sites, often centrally placed within the area under jurisdiction, usually a hundred, wapentake, or shire. The meeting place could take several forms: a natural feature such as a hilltop, tree or rock; existing man-made features such as prehistoric standing stones, barrows or hillforts; or a purpose-built monument such as a mound. Moots appear to have been first established during the early medieval period between the seventh and ninth centuries AD. Examples are recorded in the Domesday Book and other broadly contemporary documents. Initially, moots were situated in open countryside but, over time, they were relocated in villages or towns. The construction and use of rural moots declined after the 13th century. The normal form of purpose-built moot was the moot mound. These take the form of large, squat, turf-covered mounds with a flat or concave top, usually surrounded by a ditch. Occasionally, prehistoric barrows were remodelled to provide suitable sites. It is estimated that there were between 250 and 1000 moots in medieval England, although only a limited number of these were man- made mounds and only a proportion of these survive today. Moots are generally a poorly understood class of monument with considerable potential to provide information on the organisation and administration of land units in the Middle Ages. They are a comparatively rare and long-lived type of monument and the earliest examples will be amongst a very small range of sites predating the Norman Conquest which survive as monumental earthworks and readily appreciable landscape features. On this basis, all well preserved or historically well documented moot mounds are identified as nationally important.

The moot is surrounded by the earthwork remains of the village of Alsthorpe. Typically, villages of this kind would include house platforms, garden plots, holloways and small fields and Alsthorpe is a highly representative example of its type. The reasons for the desertion of such villages are varied, but often reflected declining economic viability, changes in landuse such as enclosure or emparkment, or population fluctuations as a result of widespread epidemics such as the Black Death. Alsthorpe is made more unusual because of its rare association with a pre-Conquest moot. As a meeting place, the moot probably continued in use well into the medieval period and provides good evidence for the longevity of monuments of this kind in this part of rural Leicestershire.


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


Alsthorpe deserted medieval village stands on relatively high ground to the east of the B668, mid-way between the villages of Burley and Cottesmore. The monument consists of a substantial mound, identified as a moot or meeting place, and the earthwork remains of the medieval village. Alstoe moot is a large irregularly-shaped mound, about 35m in diameter and 5m high. Surrounding the mound is a heavily silted ditch 8m wide and 1.5m deep. On the southern and western sides of the mound are two very pronounced straight ditches 8m wide and 1.5m deep which appear to mark the edges of adjacent enclosures. Adjacent to the mound are the deserted medieval village earthworks which include a series of house platforms and garden plots located on either side of a north-south running holloway. The outlines of rectangular buildings are still discernible on some of the platforms. Excavations of the moot and the straight ditches have shown them to be contemporary and of Saxon date. The site is also mentioned in the Domesday Book, and there is a documentary reference to a large `green' ditch next to `Altiechestouwe' in 1207. The village may have Saxon origins but was certainly occupied from the Norman period until its desertion in the 15th or 16th century.

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

Selected Sources

Books and journals
The Victoria History of the County of Rutland, (1911), 112
Bourne, J, Place-names of Leicestershire and Rutland, (1981), 62
Hartley, R F, The Medieval Earthworks of Rutland, (1983), 11/12
Dunning, G C, 'Antiquaries Journal' in Alstoe Mount, Burley, Rutland, , Vol. 16, (1936), 396-411

National Grid Reference: SK 89421 11995


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The above map is for quick reference purposes only and may not be to scale. For a copy of the full scale map, please see the attached PDF - 1010671 .pdf

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This copy shows the entry on 22-Aug-2018 at 08:12:40.

End of official listing