Medieval moated site W of St Oswald's Church
Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number: 1007088
Date first listed: 25-May-1978
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
District: Eden (District Authority)
National Grid Reference: NY 55433 40833
Moated site, 500m south west of Kirkoswald Castle.
Reasons for Designation
Around 6,000 moated sites are known in England. They consist of wide ditches, often or seasonally water-filled, partly or completely enclosing one or more islands of dry ground on which stood domestic or religious buildings. In some cases the islands were used for horticulture. The majority of moated sites served as prestigious aristocratic and seigneurial residences with the provision of a moat intended as a status symbol rather than a practical military defence. The peak period during which moated sites were built was between about 1250 and 1350 and by far the greatest concentration lies in central and eastern parts of England. However, moated sites were built throughout the medieval period, are widely scattered throughout England and exhibit a high level of diversity in their forms and sizes. They form a significant class of medieval monument and are important for the understanding of the distribution of wealth and status in the countryside. Many examples provide conditions favourable to the survival of organic remains.
Moated site, 500m south west of Kirkoswald Castle is preserved as an earthwork and will contain archaeological deposits relating to its construction, use and abandonment. The monument provides insight into settlement patterns during the medieval period and it is significance is increased by its proximity to the remains of Kirkoswald Castle.
This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 31 March 2016. This record has been generated from an "old county number" (OCN) scheduling record. These are monuments that were not reviewed under the Monuments Protection Programme and are some of our oldest designation records.
The monument includes the remains of a moated site of medieval date, situated on level ground just east of the River Eden, immediately adjacent to St Oswald's Church. The monument includes a central rectangular enclosure measuring 50m by 20m surrounded by a 5m to 8m wide ditch. This in turn is surrounded by double ditches enclosing a trapezoidal area measuring approximately 250m by 175m, with the ditches being flat-bottomed, 4m wide and spaced 15m apart. The monument is interpreted as the predecessor to the nearby Kirkoswald Castle. This later castle has been associated with a licence to fortify granted to Sir Hugh de Marville in 1201, although the surviving remains of Kirkoswald Castle are dated to the 14th century so it is possible that the 1201 licence may relate to the moated site.
The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.
Legacy System number: CU 515
Legacy System: RSM - OCN
PastScape Monument No:- 12451, 1389442
This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.
End of official listing