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Kibworth Harcourt; The Munt

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Hall Field

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

OS Map Grid Reference: SP68079449
Latitude 52.54401° Longitude -0.99763°

Kibworth Harcourt; The Munt has been described as a probable Timber Castle.

There are earthwork remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.


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)

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 - although Creighton writes "there is little evidence that the feature originated as anything other than a motte").
Links to archaeological and architectural databases, mapping and other online resources

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Sources of information, references and further reading
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This record last updated 15/08/2017 15:56:48

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