Medieval fishponds and moat at Denton Hall


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1007090

Date first listed: 26-Jun-1978


Ordnance survey map of Medieval fishponds and moat at Denton Hall
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Cumbria

District: Carlisle (District Authority)

Parish: Nether Denton

National Grid Reference: NY 57868 63003, NY 57938 63011


Moat and fish ponds, immediately south and 100m east of Denton Hall.

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.

The moat and fish ponds immediately south and 100m east of Denton Hall are reasonably well-preserved as earthworks. The presence of deep cut features such as the moat and fishponds indicates that the monument will contain archaeological deposits relating to their construction, use and abandonment and the presence. In addition, the nature of the monument also suggests that it will contain waterlogged archaeological deposits which will preserve organic and environmental remains. The monument provides insight into the character of settlement and subsistence in the wealthy classes during the medieval period.


See Details.


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 moat and several fish ponds of medieval date, situated on level ground. The moat is 12m wide and 2m deep and includes two straight sections of moat set at right angles to form an L-shape. The moat originally enclosed the pele tower which lies to the north west and is now incorporated into Denton Hall. To the east of the moat are a series of five fishponds preserved as earthworks. The fishponds form an L-shape with two straight sides running east-west and north-south and with a connected water channel forming an additional side to the north. The earthworks consist of flat-bottomed ponds with interconnecting channels, which are fed by a beck in the west corner. The banks surrounding the fishponds are approximately 1m high and the ponds are about 12m wide with two being 40m long and the remaining two being 12m to 15m in length. The fishponds and moat are still partially water-filled.


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number: CU 522

Legacy System: RSM - OCN


PastScape Monument No:- 12668

End of official listing