New Book on Local Landscapes Published
‘The Medieval Earthworks of South and South East Leicestershire’ is a comprehensive survey of the earthwork remains which reveal to us the sites where moats, fishponds, manor houses and in some cases whole villages, used to stand. It includes detailed plans of local places such as Smeeton Westerby, West Langton, and the deserted village of Great Stretton. There are also plans of the mysterious Motte in Kibworth Harcourt and the layout of the Medieval ridge and furrow fields, which formed the starting point for Michael Wood’s wonderful documentary history of the village.
The book is the result of work which first began nearly forty years ago, when the author Robert (Fred) Hartley was a young archaeologist working for the County Museums Service. He later spent five years (1995-2000) as Curator of the Market Harborough Museum. He retired in 2014 and has since spent some of his spare time completing the survey.
The book, obtainable from www.leicsfieldworkers.co.uk, was launched at the Fox & Goose Inn, in Illston on the Hill, with a social gathering of Hartley’s former colleagues and amateur archaeologists involved in the work over the years.
The book contains over 120 surveys, including many of the County’s largest and finest deserted village sites, such as Ingarsby, Lowesby, Carlton Curlieu and Knaptoft, which in some cases need to spread across two pages. There is a detailed explanatory text on each site and there are engravings and historic maps.