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Knaptoft 'camp' and Hall

In the civil parish of Knaptoft.
In the historic county of Leicestershire.
Modern Authority of Leicestershire.
1974 county of Leicestershire.
Medieval County of Leicestershire.

OS Map Grid Reference: SP62068947
Latitude 52.50011° Longitude -1.08690°

Knaptoft 'camp' and Hall has been described as a Fortified Manor House but is rejected as such.

There are cropmark/slight earthwork remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.


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

On high ground north-east of Knaptoft House are fragments of early entrenchments which have been broken for the arrangements of mediaeval life. To the south of the hall is a rectangular area moated and embanked, the latter 11ft. on the scarp, the moat being fed by a stream flowing by the north-east. The western bank descends into a large fishpond by a 23ft. scarp. A cist was found here, and from a plan in the Gentleman's Magazine, 1787, the earthworks were then in a far more perfect state. (VCH)

The 'earthworks' are a series of banks and ditches now reduced by ploughing. A number of enclosures formed by these banks and ditches are not shown by the OS and some are not visible on the APs. The features are of relatively weak profile and formed the boundaries of small fields probably destroyed at the time of the enclosure. No evidence of 'early entrenchments' was seen and the surviving remnants are of little or no archaeological significance. (PastScape–Field Investigators Comments-F1 WW 08-JUL-60)

The PastScape record suggest the VCH has confused this site with the earthwork of the DMV of Knaptoft. There was clearly a high status medieval house at Knaptoft, possibly held by the Knights Hospitallers of St John, as fishponds survive. This was at the site of Knaptoft Hall (SP62698958 - PastScape No. 342136) and there is little, beyond the status of the holders and a reference in Nichols to a circular tower, to suggest it was fortified. It would seem most unlikely the recorded 'camp' was a medieval fortification of any type.
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:20:06

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