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Evington Piggys Hollow

In the civil parish of Leicester.
In the historic county of Leicestershire.
Modern Authority of Leicester; City of.
1974 county of Leicestershire.
Medieval County of Leicestershire.

OS Map Grid Reference: SK626028
Latitude 52.61906° Longitude -1.07569°

Evington Piggys Hollow has been described as a probable Fortified Manor House.

There are earthwork remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.


VCH records this site as a 'moated inclosure with stronger defensive works.'

On the west of the church is a dry moat, and a fishpond, south of which is a bank and ditch, a fragment of a homestead defence. (VCH)

The moat, known locally as 'Piggy's Hollow', has a rectangular island measuring 65m x 25m, with ditches up to 20m wide and 3.0m deep on the north, east and south sides. The arm has been enlarged on the south-west side to form a pond 75m long with surrounding banks up to 1.0m high. Part of a raised trackway on the eastern side of the moat marks the original entrance, leading directly to the church. A separate pond lies further to the west, and is 80m x 25m. The curved banks of a third fishpond measuring 75m long are situated to the south. The moat was built for Sir John Grey in the C13 and in 1308 it is listed as containing the manor house, gardens and ponds. (PastScape–ref. Scheduling report)

A mediaeval moat located to the west of Evington parish church. It consists of a large rectangular platform located to the east of the site, a moat (i.e. ditch) to the north east and south. This platform would have been the main residence of the lord of the manor. In addition to the large aisled hall, where the lord actually lived, there would have probably been a number of other structures on the platform including a kitchen (usually kept separate because of the fire risk) and a stables, there may well have been a dovehouse, a chapel and a barn. These were probably timber structures, although some may have been of stone. All we know for certain about construction materials, however, is that at least one had a slate roof.
To the west of the platform lies a series of fishponds. The moat, like the fishponds, was originally filled with water. One of the sources of water, though perhaps not the only one, was a spring in the NE corner of the site. The water was retained by series of pond bays (dams) the main one extended the length of the southern side of the earthwork.
Although the manor was initially held by the keeper of Leicester Castle, then by the Earls of Leicester, subsequently by the Earls of Lancaster, then by the Dukes of Lancaster and finally by the Crown, from 1239 the manor was granted to the de Grey family as sub-tenants. So the manorial residence was almost certainly established by the de Greys, who held the manor until the C15th.
A rectangular moat island is approximately 65 x 25m, with ditches up to 20m wide and 3m deep on the north, east and south sides and a fishpond to the west. The moat was originally fed by a spring from the north and water is still contained in the northern and eastern arms. Documentary evidence indicates that the moat was built by John de Grey, or his son Henry, in the C13th. A document dated 1308 lists the site as containing the manor house, gardens, and ponds.
A small scale excavation directed by P Liddle was in the late 1970s involved the re-excavation of a trench; -2.7m long x 0.75m wide and c. 0.5m deep- of unknown origin located at the N end of the platform. The investigation revealed a mass of collapsed slate a possible decayed mortar spread and worked sandstone.
A map of 1627 shows plots, and possibly buildings more recent map evidence indicates that the site has not been built on or developed since 1888. (Leicester City Council Heritage Data)
Links to archaeological and architectural databases, mapping and other online resources

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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:20:06

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