Ancient Monuments

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Thorpe Lubenham moated site and remains of shifted medieval village

A Scheduled Monument in Lubenham, Leicestershire

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Latitude: 52.4752 / 52°28'30"N

Longitude: -0.9646 / 0°57'52"W

OS Eastings: 470425.708209

OS Northings: 286865.301034

OS Grid: SP704868

Mapcode National: GBR BS8.WGB

Mapcode Global: VHDQZ.71FV

Entry Name: Thorpe Lubenham moated site and remains of shifted medieval village

Scheduled Date: 4 June 1952

Last Amended: 22 December 1992

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1009598

English Heritage Legacy ID: 13651

County: Leicestershire

Civil Parish: Lubenham

Built-Up Area: Lubenham

Traditional County: Northamptonshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Leicestershire

Church of England Parish: Marston Trussell St Nicholas

Church of England Diocese: Peterborough


The monument includes the manorial moated site at Thorpe Lubenham and the
remains of village earthworks which lie to the west of the moat. The monument
is divided into two areas.
The moat is the site of a manor house associated with the medieval village of
Thorpe Lubenham. The moat is about 85m square and orientated NS-EW. The
island is enclosed by a waterfilled ditch approximately 2m deep and 8m wide
and there is an entrance causeway in the south east corner. A series of
earthwork depressions and platforms mark the foundations of the manorial
Earthwork remains of part of the village of Thorpe Lubenham can be identified
to the west of the moat, covering an area of about 2ha. They include a
distinct hollow way running from north to south and house platforms and garden
plots which can be traced on either side.
The village of Thorpe Lubenham was first documented in the Domesday Book and
there are tax records relating to the village throughout the 14th century. By
1547 the focus of the village had shifted northwards and records indicate that
the land was used for sheep pasture. The manor house appears to have been
occupied throughout much of the period until it was demolished in the 18th

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.
It includes a 2 metre boundary around the archaeological features,
considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Around 6,000 moated sites are known in England. They consist of wide ditches,
often or seasonally water-filled, partly or completely enclosing one or more
islands of dry ground on which stood domestic or religious buildings. In some
cases the islands were used for horticulture. The majority of moated sites
served as prestigious aristocratic and seigneurial residences with the
provision of a moat intended as a status symbol rather than a practical
military defence. The peak period during which moated sites were built was
between about 1250 and 1350 and by far the greatest concentration lies in
central and eastern parts of England. However, moated sites were built
throughout the medieval period, are widely scattered throughout England and
exhibit a high level of diversity in their forms and sizes. They form a
significant class of medieval monument and are important for the understanding
of the distribution of wealth and status in the countryside. Many examples
provide conditions favourable to the survival of organic remains.

The moated site was an important element within the village of Thorpe
Lubenham. Although the village has continued in use to the modern day, with
consequent disturbance of earlier remains, an area of earthworks of the
original village survives west of the moat. These earthworks belong to part
of an earlier settlement which was deserted as the village either shrank or
shifted its focus further northwards.
The moated site and village earthworks survive in good condition, indicating a
direct association between a prestigious manorial site and part of a
contemporary medieval rural settlement. These areas retain considerable
potential for the survival of environmental and archaeological evidence
relating to the occupation of the site.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Royal Commission on Historical Monuments of England, , RCHM on Northants141

Source: Historic England

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