A medieval manor house which ‘disappeared’ for three centuries has been found by archaeologists.
The house in Croxton Kerrial was last recorded in the 16th century and had disappeared from maps by the 1790s.
It was found by members of Framland Local Archaeological Group (FLAG) using geophysical techniques to probe the ground last year.
Since then, working with an ex-Leicestershire County Council archaeologist, the team have been discovering different parts of the house.
FLAG chairman Tony Connolly said: “I began researching the history of the village three years ago and came across references to the manor house but they gave no location. That intrigued me. I had to try to find the building.”
Mr Connolly, who lives in the village and is currently directing the manor house excavation, added: “FLAG undertook a geophysical survey which showed extensive remains of buildings in the field adjacent to the village church, which we began to excavate last spring.
“So far we have uncovered the great hall, private chambers, kitchen, well, and the finest medieval garderobe (toilet) in Leicestershire!
“The manor dates from the 12th century and there may have been an earlier Anglo Saxon hall on the site. It was occupied by the de Kerrial family - lords of the manor in the 13th and 14th century who lived in the manor house and after whom the village is named - for around 100 years before coming into the possession of Croxton Abbey. Our records show it was uninhabitable by the 16th century. After that, it disappeared. A lot of people in the village had heard about it but nobody knew where it was.”
“The large number of pottery finds date mostly from the 13th to 15th century, although finds of Roman and Anglo Saxon pottery indicate much earlier usage of the site.”