PIGGY’S HOLLOW – WHAT’S IT FOR?
PIGGY’S HOLLOW – WHAT WAS IT FOR?
In the shadow of St. Denys’ Church lies Piggy’s Hollow, an unassuming mound with a moat north west of the Shady Lane Arboretum. This site is generally accepted as the location of Evington Manor, a substantial 13thcentury building with stone foundations and slate roof, built by the noble French aristocratic family the de Greys of Codnor, relatives of the de Greys of Ruthyn based in Newtown Linford, who established the deer park (Bradgate Park) and ancestors of Lady Jane Grey, the nine-day queen.
The manor was built by Henry or Richard de Grey, as was first mentioned in official documentation in 1265. The house and lands remained in the family for over 200 years, passing through 6 generations of de Greys, eventually being seized by the crown in 1502 as punishment for treason committee by Sir William Stanley and passing into the hands of the Earl of Huntingdon (current holder of Ashby de la Zouche).
Since then the land has remained largely unused being labelled as an empty field called ‘The Hall Yard’ on the 1627 tithe map of Evington, and even being ultimately listed for pig farming by a local pig keeper, hence the name ‘Piggy’s Hollow’.
However, what is uncertain about this site and other moated sites in England is what their true function was in the 13thCentury. This is largely borne from the lack of consistent labelling across the country.
What we know is that the Manor House at Piggy’s Hollow had a stone foundation, slate roof and was built in the 13th Century by a member of the de Grey family.
Enclosed is a picture showing the excavations that took place in 2017 at Bradgate Park when the Manor House there was excavated.