Ancient Monuments

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Baggrave Deserted Medieval Village

A Scheduled Monument in Hungarton, Leicestershire

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Latitude: 52.6714 / 52°40'17"N

Longitude: -0.9702 / 0°58'12"W

OS Eastings: 469730.031423

OS Northings: 308683.995163

OS Grid: SK697086

Mapcode National: GBR BPY.FK4

Mapcode Global: WHFKK.238W

Entry Name: Baggrave Deserted Medieval Village

Scheduled Date: 4 January 1991

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1012125

English Heritage Legacy ID: 13237

County: Leicestershire

Civil Parish: Hungarton

Traditional County: Leicestershire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Leicestershire

Church of England Parish: Hungarton St John The Baptist

Church of England Diocese: Leicester


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-

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

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

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.

Source: Historic England


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)

Source: Historic England

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