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At the beginning of the 20th Century, Thomas Hardcastle and later his son, T. A. Hardcastle turned Horninghold into a 'garden village'. They erected stone, brick and half-timbered houses in a neat and symmetrical pattern and surrounded them with ornamental shrubs and a variety of trees. Each house restored in this project contains a plaque with the date of re-construction. Between 1903 and 1913 H.L.Goddard a well known Leicestershire Architect worked in the village on the re-modeling project.

In the centre of the village is a triangular green on which stands the village sign made from oak and paid for with prize-money won when the village was judged the prettiest in Leicestershire in 1953.

John Evelyn visits Horninghold


Goddard architectural dynasty

H. L. Goddard a renown Leicestershire architect from 1914 designed one of the houses in Horninghold

Details are on the East Midlands Oral History Archive at:


Prior to the Norman Conquest in 1066

Horninghold is part of the Danelaw counties of England and owned by:

Rolf, Oswulf a relative of King Edward the Confessor, Osmund the Bishop of Salisbury and Leofric a Monk but related to Lord Leofric.

Each held 0.75 carucates [120 acres] valued at 2s.

Following the Conquest in 1066 Horninghold became the procession of Robert de Tosny.

Click HERE to learn more about the Tosny family.

1130 the Normans start the construction of   St Peter’s Church in Horninghold

Dissolution of the Monasteries

In 1553 King Edward VI grants Horninghold to Edward Griffin esq. For the sum of £566. Edward is to become the Attorney General of England under Queen Elizabeth I.

John Evelyn Visits Horninghold

John Evelyn & his wife stayed at the Manor in Horninghold from 3rd - 30th August 1654 and details the stay in his diary. The Manor was owned at the time by Mary Evelyn's Uncle.

Horninghold Le [Horniwale D.B., Horninvald 1106-23 (1333) Ch., Horningewald 1163 P]

The WALD or woodland of the Horninglas.  Horninghold is in a winding valley and Horningas may be "the dwellers in the Horna or bend" Cf. Horn.  Click HERE for full definition of the Horninghold name.

John Evelyn visits Horninghold


Horninghold Witch Trial

During the 17th and 18th Centuries witch trails took place in Horninghold.

‘June 11th 1709 Thomas Holmes of Horninghold, a labourer, was dowsed three times for a witch, and did not sink, but swam, though his hands and feet and head were all tied together.  All this was done in the Dungeon Pit in Blaston before 500 people.’

Unfortunately many others were less fortunate Click HERE for details of the other trials.

The Reverend Humphrey Michel: Vicar of Horninghold between 1676 and 1723.

This controversial priest evicted a tenant from the Rectory, was sent before an Ecclesiastical Court and had his pig stolen from the Church Porch.

He kept a diary which provides an insight into life in the late Stuart period and as a witness to some of the witch trails he provides an account of the proceedings.

Click HERE for details

Priory of Belvoir

In 1076 Robert de Tosny gave the Horninghold parish to the priory of Belvoir.  Belvoir Priory was a Benedictine priory adjacent to Belvoir Castle. Although once described as in Lincolnshire, England it is within the modern Boundaries of Leicestershire, near the present Belvoir lodge.

Begun in 1076 by Robert de Tosny, Lord of Belvoir with the intention of being an independent Abbey, it was converted before completion into a cell of St Albans Abbey at the advice of Archbishop Lanfranc. It was disestablished in 1539, as part of the closure of the parent abbey.