Colin Crosby Heritage Tours

Deserted Village (Ingarsby)

The deserted mediaeval village site at Ingarsby in Leicestershire is one of the finest in England.

It can be reached along a minor road from Houghton-on-the-Hill, a few miles to the East of Leicester.

Ingarsby was, as its name implies, a Danish settlement and was founded in the 9th century. By the Norman period it grown to a substantial village.

Its desertion was not, as is usually assumed in these cases, brought on by the Black Death. It followed a much more common pattern - deliberate depopulation in order to create land for sheep farming. The land was enclosed in 1469.

Sheep were much more profitable than people to the landlord, who in this case was the wealthy Leicester Abbey.

The well-delineated site is on a Westward-facing slope immediately to the South of the surviving Ingarsby Old Hall. Holloways, house sites, boundary ditches and even a watermill are identifiable.

The site is roughly rectangular, with a small moated enclosure a little to the North.

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