Ancient Monuments

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Horn deserted medieval village and moated site

A Scheduled Monument in Exton and Horn, Rutland

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Latitude: 52.6945 / 52°41'40"N

Longitude: -0.5929 / 0°35'34"W

OS Eastings: 495195.826867

OS Northings: 311680.573171

OS Grid: SK951116

Mapcode National: GBR DSX.0XW

Mapcode Global: WHGLN.VJWQ

Entry Name: Horn deserted medieval village and moated site

Scheduled Date: 20 November 1967

Last Amended: 4 September 1991

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1017848

English Heritage Legacy ID: 17021

County: Rutland

Civil Parish: Exton and Horn

Traditional County: Rutland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Rutland

Church of England Parish: Exton with Horn St Peter and St Paul

Church of England Diocese: Peterborough


The deserted medieval village of Horn comprises a series of earthworks and a
moat lying on a west facing slope 2.5km east of Exton.
The village earthworks are ranged along a pronounced hollow way which is up to
2m deep in places and runs west-east up the slope of the hill. Branching off
this is a second hollow way which can be traced northwards into a small
spinney. Many building platforms and old closes can be seen south of the
hollow way, and there are signs of earthworks in the spinney to the north.
Across the stream to the west is a moat, measuring approximately 70 x 50m in
overall dimensions, partly filled with water. The moat ditch is 8m across and
1.5-2m deep. On the moat island is a large depression on the north east side
8m x 5m and lm deep, with a similar depression on the north west measuring 15
x 5m indicating manorial building foundations. There is a channel leading
into the stream on the south east. An outer enclosure formed by a low bank
lies to the west of the moat, and further building platforms lie to the north.
Horn is listed in the Domesday survey and referred to in the 13th century, but
by 1376 the principal manor was declared to be almost valueless. By 1384 the
whole village is described as `wasted and destroyed'. The village was given
taxation relief in 1445 and 1489 indicating its general poverty and decline by
the end of the 15th century.

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.

The deserted village of Horn comprises extensive and well preseryed earthworks
and a good example of a manorial moat, a surviving medieval landscape that is
rare on such a large scale in Leicestershire. As the area is largely
undisturbed, it is considered to retain high archaeological potential.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
The Victoria History of the County of Rutland, (1911), 138-40
Hartley, R F, The Medieval Earthworks of Rutland, (1983), 22-3

Source: Historic England

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