Kibworth Harcourt; The Munt

Has been described as a Possible Timber Castle (Motte)

There are earthwork remains

NameKibworth Harcourt; The Munt
Alternative NamesHall Field
Historic CountryLeicestershire
Modern AuthorityLeicestershire
1974 AuthorityLeicestershire
Civil ParishKibworth Harcourt

Motte in Hall Field. A flat-topped, irregularly-shaped mound, approximately 35m in maximum width and up to 4m high, surrounded by a ditch up to 2m deep and 8m wide except on the north side where it has been partly filled. The top is an irregularly shaped area measuring a maximum of 22m. An entrance causeway 6m wide is situated on the south-west side. Two large depressions on the north and south sides of the mound are the result of C19 excavations. (PastScape–ref. scheduling report)

Despite suggestions to the contrary, there is little to suggest that the mound at Kibworth Harcourt is anything but a motte, and its similarity in plan to the feature at Ingarsby is stricking. Two small-scale excavations at a large mound in the village in c. 1837 and 1863 are problematical in that (it) is unclear whether they relate to the feature discussed here, or to a large windmill mound north-west of the village at SP678949 (Anon 1837; Trollope 1869). The nature of the material recovered raises the possibility that the excavated feature is a barrow later raised into a mill mound - making it likely that the excavated site is not the possible motte in Hall Close. Notably the Domesday entry relating to Kibworth Harcourt records a 'Frenchman', and it is not inconceivable that this relates to a Norman sub-tenant or retainer occupying the castle in 1086; remarkably, Gilmorton and Ingarsby, both the sites of early castles, are two of only a handful of other Leicestershire Domesday entries containing references to 'Frenchmen'. (Creighton)

Gatehouse Comments

A possibly bailey survived as very slight earthworks (Creighton writes isolated motte not associated with bailey although his plan shows these slight earthworks - the mound is large enough to have accommodated a substantial building. In Nicholls time the earthworks were even larger). The C19 excavation revealed pebble pavements and extensive signs of burning; alleged Roman pottery was also recovered. These C19 excavations do not seem to have been that slight and I didn't notice much damage to The Munt so Gatehouse suspects Creighton is correct in suggesting the excavations were not of the Munt, although it remains a possibility that the Munt is an adapted barrow of some age (possibly Roman or Saxon).

- Philip Davis

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law

Not Listed

Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceSP680944
Latitude52.5440101623535
Longitude-0.997630000114441
Eastings468070
Northings294490
HyperLink HyperLink HyperLink
Photograph by Philip Davis. All rights reserved
Photograph by Philip Davis. All rights reserved
Photograph by Philip Davis. All rights reserved

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Books

  • Cantor, Leonard, 2003, The Scheduled Ancient Monument of Leicestershire and Rutland (Leicester: Kairos Press) p. 33
  • Salter, Mike, 2002, The Castles of the East Midlands (Malvern: Folly Publications) p. 36
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 1 p. 254
  • Wall, C., 1907, 'Ancient Earthworks' in Page, Wm, (ed), VCH Leicestershire Vol. 1 p. 275 (as tumulus) online copy
  • Nichols, J., 1804, The History and Antiquities of the County of Leicestershire Vol. 2.2 p. 639 online copy

Journals

  • Creighton, O.H., 1997, 'Early Leicestershire Castles: Archaeology and Landscape History' Transactions of the Leicestershire Archaeological and Historical Society Vol. 71 p. 29 online copy
  • Cantor, Leonard, 1977-8, 'The Medieval Castles of Leicestershire' Transactions of the Leicestershire Archaeological and Historical Society Vol. 53 p. 38 online copy
  • Trollope, Rev. E., 1863, Transactions of the Leicestershire Archaeological and Historical Society Vol. 2 p. 244-5
  • Anon, 1837, The Gentleman's Magazine (New Series) Vol. 7 Part 1 p. 641 online copy

Other

  • Micheal Wood (presenting historian), 29 September 2010 (first broadcast), 'Domesday to Magna Carta' Michael Wood's Story of England (BBC Television) [http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p00bm1l3]
  • Hallaton Field Work Group Geophysical survey