Medieval manor house near Melton to become tourist attraction
Nine years after it was first unearthed, the site of Leicestershire’s best preserved medieval manor house will become a tourist attraction from this weekend.
A £40,000 Heritage Lottery Fund grant has enabled the remains of the building, on a farmer’s field at Croxton Kerrial, to be shown off to visitors.
In an exciting looking official launch event on Saturday, between 10am and 4pm, attendees can have guided tours, see a display of archaeological finds and enjoy a re-enactment of what life was like back then in the 12th century.
There will be plenty of family fun as well with Vikings, Norman knights and longbowmen set to be there too.
Tony Connolly, one of those involved in the initial digs on site, told the Melton Times: “It’s taken us nine years to do the excavations and get it ready so this is the grand opening.
“It will then be open to the public through the summer, the autumn and the spring months.
“It is very exciting. It’s been quite a long slog and quite frustrating at times, particularly with the Covid pandemic, when we had to close down.
“I remember during the first lockdown I spent two hours a day, seven days a week, which was kept me sane actually.”
Excavations of the site, which is opposite St Botolph’s Church, have unearthed foundations of the great hall and a kitchen.
Evidence of a well, a cattle barn and a blacksmith’s smithy have also been found, as well as the best preserved medieval toilet in the county.
It is thought the building was occupied by members of the de Criol family for 150 years - the village takes part of its name from them.
There were a tours of the site for a limited number of people four years ago but it will now be open to the public for an extended period thanks to the grant support.
Mr Connolly, a trustee of Croxton Kerrial Heritage Trust, added: “As far as Leicestershire is concerned it’s the most completely excavated Medieval manor house in the county.
“We will doing guided tours of the manor house and the barns and the well, the kitchen and everything else.
“There will be a display of all the finds we’ve made on the site which are Medieval and anglo-saxon.
“There will be refreshments in the church and the church will be open to see the Medieval pews and Medieval graffiti in there.”
Entrance on Saturday costs £5 for adults but children get in free and parking will also be free of charge.