Baggrave Deserted Medieval Village

Overview

Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1012125

Date first listed: 04-Jan-1991

Map

Ordnance survey map of Baggrave Deserted Medieval Village
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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Location

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Leicestershire

District: Harborough (District Authority)

Parish: Hungarton

National Grid Reference: SK 69727 08691

Summary

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.

Baggrave is an important and well-preserved example of an emparked deserted village which has been preserved in a landscape largely unchanged since the sixteenth century. Although a partial excavation was carried out in 1915, extensive areas of undisturbed deposits exist in situ making the monument one of considerable archaeological potential.

History

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

Details

The deserted village of Baggrave lies seven miles north-east of Leicester in the parish of Hungarton. The village earthworks are clearly identifiable in Baggrave Park, south of the Hall, and consist of a pronounced holloway, representing the main street, flanked by building platforms and enclosures and a back lane, shown by another holloway to the east. House-plots (tofts) and yards or gardens (crofts) are represented by some of the earthwork platforms and ditched and banked enclosures, but others show the positions of outbuildings and other ancillary features such as a bakehouse, barns, granaries and the chapel, which is known to have existed at Baggrave. To the south, the main street opens into a cross-roads where sunken tracks give access to the village fields where the remains of extensive ridge and furrow cultivation are clearly visible. At the south-west limit of the village, a well-defined moated platform indicates the position of a medieval manor house. Tax assessments in 1327, 1332 and 1381 indicate the existence of fifteen or sixteen house-holds, to which can be added an unknown number who were exempt from taxation. The village was partially depopulated when the abbot of Leicester enclosed his lands in 1500 and, by 1563, there were only two families remaining. The manor was bought by the Cave family after the Dissolution of the monasteries. At about this time, the site of the manor house was moved to that of the present hall. The scheduling protects the main village earthworks along with a representative sample of the immediately adjacent contemporary field- system.

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

Legacy

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

Legacy System number: 13237

Legacy System: RSM

Sources

Books and journals
'Leicester Mercury' in Re: Henry Field's 1915 Excavation, (1977)
Hoskins, W G, 'Transactions of the Leicestershire Arch & Historical Society' in Seven Deserted Village Sites in Leicestershire (Volume 32), , Vol. 32, (1956)

End of official listing