Ancient Monuments

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Lowesby deserted medieval village with three fishponds

A Scheduled Monument in Lowesby, Leicestershire

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Latitude: 52.6636 / 52°39'48"N

Longitude: -0.9303 / 0°55'49"W

OS Eastings: 472442.539978

OS Northings: 307857.428708

OS Grid: SK724078

Mapcode National: GBR BPZ.ZL0

Mapcode Global: WHFKK.P96V

Entry Name: Lowesby deserted medieval village with three fishponds

Scheduled Date: 8 May 1978

Last Amended: 24 July 1992

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1012438

English Heritage Legacy ID: 17089

County: Leicestershire

Civil Parish: Lowesby

Traditional County: Leicestershire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Leicestershire

Church of England Parish: Lowesby (Whatborough Parishes)

Church of England Diocese: Leicester


The monument at Lowesby is situated on relatively high ground, part of which
is on a south facing slope, and includes extensive village earthworks and
three dry fishponds.

The village earthworks cover a large area to the north of Lowesby Hall and
extend for over 400m. There are several hollow ways within the site and a
large boundary ditch measuring approximately 10m wide and 2m deep, marking the
northern extent of the village. House platforms up to a metre high adjoin a
hollow way on the eastern side and many platforms can be seen on high ground
on the northern part of the site. Between the village earthworks and Lowesby
Lane is a strip of well preserved ridge and furrow ploughing which is
considered an integral part of the medieval village landscape. On the
south-west side of the area is a sub-rectangular fishpond measuring 75 x 50m,
which is heavily embanked on the western side due to the slope of the land. On
its eastern side is a second rectangular fishpond measuring 90 x 45m. A third
irregularly shaped fishpond measuring 75 x 25m lies in the northern part of
the site. The pond is embanked on the northern side and dug into the slope of
the land to a depth of up to 3m on the southern side.

Lowesby is listed in Domesday Book, and mentioned in 1309, when there were 12
households, and in 1377, when there were 25 tax payers representing 8-10
families. It was converted to pasture and largely deserted in 1487. By 1563
there were only the Ashby Family at the Hall and 3 labouring families. The
church has survived to the south of the Hall.

Excluded from the scheduling is a concrete reservoir, although the ground
beneath it is included.

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

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 wide-spread
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.

Lowesby deserted medieval village is an extensive and well preserved site. It
is well documented and its date of desertion is known.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Hoskins, WG, 'Transactions of the Leicestershire Arch & Historical Society' in The Deserted Villages of Leicestershire (Volume 22), (1945), 22-25

Source: Historic England

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