Moated site and annexe south of Gale Bay


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1007405

Date first listed: 24-Nov-1964

Date of most recent amendment: 17-Sep-1993


Ordnance survey map of Moated site and annexe south of Gale Bay
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Cumbria

District: Eden (District Authority)

Parish: Barton

National Park: LAKE DISTRICT

National Grid Reference: NY 46404 23321


Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

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.

Despite erosion on the monument's western side that has obscured the surrounding moat, and infilling of the remainder of the moat, the monument's earthworks survive reasonably well. Documentary evidence indicates the site was occupied during the 14th century and past ploughing on the summit of the hill has revealed sandstone confirming that structural foundations survive.


Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.


The monument is a moated site and an associated annexe south of Gale Bay. It includes Hodgson Hill, a natural feature, measuring approximately 90m by 50m and up to 8m high, that has been altered by some levelling of the summit to create a building platform and the digging of a now infilled moat up to 10m wide around its base on all sides except the west where Ullswater affords protection. Immediately to the south of the moat is a flat platform or annexe, also formed by a modification of the natural hillslope, measuring c.50m by 25m. According to local tradition the monument is known as Tristermont, home of Sir Tristram, one of the knights of King Arthur's Round Table. The site is mentioned in a 14th century document by Sir W Strickland and his son, Thomas. Past ploughing has revealed sandstone on the summit of the hill, indicative of structural foundations. All modern field boundaries are excluded from the scheduling, but the ground beneath is included.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract. It includes a 2 metre boundary around the archaeological features, considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.


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

Legacy System number: 22508

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Machell, , Antiquary on Horseback, (1691)
Curwen, J F, 'Trans Cumb & West Antiq & Arch Soc. Extra Ser.' in Castles and Towers of Cumb, West and Lancs N of the Sands, (1913), 48
Hay, T , 'Trans Cumb & West Antiq & Arch Soc. New Ser.' in Ullswater Notes, , Vol. XXXVIII, (1938), 42-3
Darvill, T., MPP Single Monument Class Descriptions - Moats, (1988)
RCHME, Westmorland, (1936)
SMR No. 2959, Cumbria SMR, Moated Site South of Gale Bay, (1987)
To Robinson,K.D. MPPFW, Mr Lowis (site tenant), (1992)

End of official listing