Barf Hill moated site


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:


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

East Riding of Yorkshire (Unitary Authority)
East Riding of Yorkshire (Unitary Authority)
National Grid Reference:
TA 04629 47195

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 seigniorial residences withthe 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. Barf Hill moated site survives well and appears never to have been excavated or disturbed. The silted ditches and fishponds will preserve organic remains. Remains of the buildings which formerly occupied the site will be preserved on the island.


The monument is Barf Hill moated site. It includes a raised platform 5m high, 60m in length from east to west, and 90m from north to south. The platform is surrounded on all four sides by a moat 5m wide and up to 1m deep. The north- western corner of the moat has been infilled where it is crossed by a farm track. The northern arm of the moat has been incorporated into later land drainage features and appears to have been periodically cleared. The eastern and southern arms of the moat are more silted than the northern and western arms and are now only 0.5m in depth. There are traces of external banks on the eastern and northern sides of the moat. These banks are low and spread and up to 0.5m high and 5m in breadth. Two silted fishponds are preserved at the north end of the island. Each pond is 0.5m deep, 2m wide, and 20m in length. They are connected by a short silted channel. The scheduling boundary encloses the moat running 5m beyond its outer edge, except at the south-eastern, and south-western corners and along the southern boundary. Here the scheduling boundary follows the modern fence line, since any remains beyond it have been destroyed. The monument has been identified as a grange of Meaux Abbey and as a possible vacary (cattle farm). Local tradition suggests that this site was re-used as a gun platform during the English Civil War. There is, however, no firm evidence for this and indeed present understanding of military action in this area suggests that this is unlikely.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.


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

Legacy System number:
Legacy System:


Books and journals
Bulmer, T, History and Directory of East Yorkshire, (1892), 453
Le Patourel, H E J, Moated site of Yorkshire, (1973), 109
Le Patourel, H E J, Moated site of Yorkshire, (1973), 109
Loughlin, N, Miller, K, Survey of Archaeological Sites in Humberside, (1979), 31
Sheahan, , Whellan, , History and Topography of York And The East Riding, (1856)
3729, Humberside S.M.R,


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

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