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Petlinge medieval settlement remains 170m north of Whitehouse Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Peatling Magna, Leicestershire

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Latitude: 52.53 / 52°31'48"N

Longitude: -1.123 / 1°7'22"W

OS Eastings: 459587.866369

OS Northings: 292824.00223

OS Grid: SP595928

Mapcode National: GBR 8NT.BW8

Mapcode Global: VHCT1.HN4V

Entry Name: Petlinge medieval settlement remains 170m north of Whitehouse Farm

Scheduled Date: 24 November 1999

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1017214

English Heritage Legacy ID: 30284

County: Leicestershire

Civil Parish: Peatling Magna

Traditional County: Leicestershire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Leicestershire

Church of England Parish: Peatling Magna All Saints

Church of England Diocese: Leicester


The monument includes medieval settlement remains and a sample of the
adjoining field systems, situated 170m north of Whitehouse Farm. Further
areas of settlement remains are located approximately 400m to the south and
are the subject of a separate scheduling. Part of Petlinge (now known as
Peatling Magna) between the two monuments is still inhabited.

The remains represent areas of the village abandoned in the post-medieval
period and are principally orientated in relation to a hollow way up to 8m in
width and 1m in depth which runs south east from the present Main Street for
approximately 250m. The hollow way was a main thoroughfare through the north
eastern area of the medieval settlement and the location of houses adjacent to
its northern and southern sides are indicated by a number of low sub-circular
mounds. The houses were associated with a series of rectangular paddocks or
gardens of varying size which were also situated along the northern and
southern sides of the hollow way and are visible as ditches up to 3m in width
and 0.75m in depth. A further series of enclosures and house platforms on the
western side of the hollow way survive in a paddock immediately south of the
Croft and extend to the edge of Main Street. The remains in this area include
a rectangular building platform adjacent to Main Street and set against the
south western boundary of the paddock. The platform is up to 0.45m in height
and measures approximately 30m east to west and 18m north to south. A trackway
immediately to the north of the platform is defined by a low causeway running
east to west, whilst a 65m length of curvilinear ditch at the eastern ends of
the causeway and house platform comprise one side of a `T'-shaped boundary,
the long axis of which of which runs east to west along the southern side of
the paddock. A further possible building platform is situated on the south
eastern side of the paddock.

The hollow way and the associated enclosures on its northern and eastern sides
overlie an extensive area of medieval ridge and furrow cultivation which
continues southwards beyond the settlement. A representative sample of this
ridge and furrow has been included in the scheduling in order to preserve its
relationship with the medieval settlement.

At the time of the Domesday survey in 1086 the village of Petlinge was held
for the King by Godwin the priest, Robert de Buci and Countess Judith.
Countess Judith, sister of William the Conqueror inherited the land from her
husband, Earl Waltheof, who had held it prior to the Norman Conquest but was
beheaded in 1075 for treason. There were at least two manors within the
village. One was held by the de Ferrers family from at least 1343 until 1445,
when it passed through marriage to the Grey family of Groby. The other was
held by the Abbot of St Ebrulph in Normandy from at least 1216 until 1414
when it was seized by the Crown and subsequently given to the Carthusian
priory of Shene in Surrey. Following the Dissolution of the Monasteries, the
manor was later granted, in 1547, by Henry VIII to Thomas Villers and Nicholas
Beaumont, eventually reverting to John Jervis. After the seizure of the
manor by Elizabeth I, it was restored to the Jervis family in 1568 and
remained in their ownership until the end of the 18th century. In 1528, 35
families were recorded in Peatling Magna, the number increasing to 62 by 1564,
but declining back again to 32 by 1801.

All fences and feed troughs are excluded from the scheduling, although the
ground beneath these features is included.

A small pond in the south east corner of the monument is totally excluded from
the scheduling.

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

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Medieval rural settlements in England were marked by great regional diversity
in form, size and type, and the protection of their archaeological remains
needs to take these differences into account. To do this, England has been
divided into three broad Provinces on the basis of each area's distinctive
mixture of nucleated and dispersed settlements. These can be further divided
into sub-Provinces and local regions, possessing characteristics which have
gradually evolved during the past 1500 years or more.
This monument lies in the Inner Midlands sub-Province of the Central Province,
an area characterised by large numbers of nucleated settlements, both
surviving and deserted, many of which are thought to have been established in
Anglo-Saxon times. Most of the sub-Province's thinly scattered dispersed
settlements were created in post-medieval times, but some of the local regions
are characterised by higher proportions of dispersed dwellings and hamlets,
which probably mark the patchy survival of older landscapes.
The Stour-Avon-Soar Clay Vales local region is dominated by village and hamlet
settlements. It was once characterised by large townfields under communal
cultivation, traces which survive as ridge and furrow earthworks. It contains
the sites of many depopulated villages and hamlets, perhaps up to one third of
the total number of such settlements which existed in the Middle Ages.

Medieval villages were the organised agricultural communities, sited at the
centre of a parish or township, that shared resources such as arable land,
meadow and woodland. Village plans vary enormously, but when they survive as
earthworks their most distinguishing features include roads and minor tracks,
platforms on which stood houses and other buildings such as barns, enclosed
crofts and small enclosed paddocks. In the Central Province of England,
villages were the most distinctive aspect of medieval life, and their
archaeological remains are one of the most important sources of understanding
about rural life in the five or more centuries following the Norman Conquest.

Medieval villages were supported by a communal system of agriculture based on
large, unenclosed open arable fields. These large fields were divided into
strips (known as lands) which were allocated to individual tenants. The
cultivation of these strips with heavy ploughs pulled by oxen-teams produced
long, wide ridges and the resultant `ridge and furrow' where it survives is
the most obvious physical indication of the open field system. Individual
strips or lands were laid out in groups known as furlongs defined by terminal
headlands at the plough turning-points and lateral grass baulks. Furlongs were
in turn grouped into large open fields. Well preserved ridge and furrow,
especially in its original context adjacent to village earthworks, is both an
important source of information about medieval agrarian life and a distinctive
contribution to the character of the historic landscape.

Petlinge medieval settlement remains 170m north of Whitehouse Farm survive
well as a series of substantial earthworks and buried deposits which have been
largely undisturbed since their abandonment. The survival of archaeological
deposits relating to their occupation and use is likely to be good. These
deposits will contain information about the dating, layout and economy of the
medieval settlement of Petlinge. Together with contemporary documents relating
to the village, this will provide a good opportunity to understand the
mechanisms behind the development, decline and eventual abandonment of areas
of the settlement.

Source: Historic England


Farnham, G., Leicestershire Medieval Village Notes, 1935,
Hartley, R F, (1981)
Leicestershire County Council, SP 59 SE AB,
RCHME, NMR Printout: SP 59 SE 14,
Source Date: 1885

Source: Historic England

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