Moated site and annexe south of Gale Bay


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Date of most recent amendment:


© Crown Copyright and database right 2021. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2021. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
Use of this data is subject to Terms and Conditions.

The above map is for quick reference purposes only and may not be to scale. For a copy of the full scale map, please see the attached PDF - 1007405.pdf

The PDF will be generated from our live systems and may take a few minutes to download depending on how busy our servers are. We apologise for this delay.

This copy shows the entry on 04-Mar-2021 at 04:38:49.


The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Eden (District Authority)
National Park:
National Grid Reference:
NY 46404 23321

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.


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:
Legacy System:


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)


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

Your Contributions

Do you know more about this entry?

The following information has been contributed by users volunteering for our Enriching The List project. For small corrections to the List Entry please see our Minor Amendments procedure.

The information and images below are the opinion of the contributor, are not part of the official entry and do not represent the official position of Historic England. We have not checked that the contributions below are factually accurate. Please see our terms and conditions. If you wish to report an issue with a contribution or have a question please email [email protected].