Medieval complex at Barmston Old Hall, including two moated sites, a pond, three fishponds and associated enclosures with part of a field system.


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 - 1007846.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 27-Jan-2021 at 05:07:17.


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

East Riding of Yorkshire (Unitary Authority)
National Grid Reference:
TA 15600 58736

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 moated site at Barmston Old Hall Farm survives well and is part of a more extensive complex of medieval remains including the church, fields and fishponds. The main moated island will retain evidence of the buildings which formerly occupied it and the waterlogged moat and fishponds provide conditions suitable for the preservation of organic materials. Taken as a whole, the complex, will provide important evidence for medieval occupation and land use in the area.


The monument consists of an extensive complex of medieval remains, including a moated site, a second smaller moated area, a pond, three fishponds, associated enclosures which include part of a ridge and furrow field system, and other earthwork remains. The area also includes a church and churchyard but these are excluded from the scheduling. The main moated site lies in the west central part of the monument. The waterlogged moat is between 15m and 20m wide and up to 2m deep, except for a 30m long section at the northern end of the western arm which has been in-filled. The enclosed island is sub-rectangular in shape and measures about 100m north-south by 70m east-west. Old Hall, a late 16/17th century house which is listed grade II*, stands at the centre of the island and will have replaced earlier buildings since the site is known to have been occupied from at least the mid-13th century. Access to the enclosed island is provided by a brick and stone bridge which crosses the northern arm of the moat. To the south of the main moated site and defining the southern part of the monument is a large square enclosure defined by a ditch and bank; the bank is up to 2m high and 7m wide and the ditch is 2m deep by 6m wide. Much of the enclosed area was used for agriculture in the medieval period and the earthwork remains survive of ridge and furrow ploughing. However, in the north-west corner of the enclosure, immediately to the south of the main moated site, are two fishponds. The two fishponds now appear as L-shaped features which lie close together with the southern pond partly enclosing the northern. The northern and eastern arms of the northern pond are 7m wide by up to 2m deep and have an overall length of 140m; there appears to have also been a south-eastern arm which is now almost entirely in-filled. The southern pond is up to 20m wide by 2m deep and now has an overall length of some 110m. Silted channels some 6m wide appear originally to have connected the southern arm of the pond to the ditch of the surrounding enclosure. To the north of the southern enclosure and to the east of the main moated site, continued agricultural use of the land has altered and obscured the original pattern of boundary ditches although slight traces of ridge and furrow ploughing are still visible. However, the eastern boundary of the southern enclosure appears to have extended further north and eventually to have joined up with the eastern boundary of the monument where it is well-defined in the north-eastern corner. The northern boundary of the monument is defined by the ditch which runs alongside the road but the area of the modern farm buildings is not included within the scheduling since the extent and survival of remains beneath the buildings is uncertain. To the north-east of the main moated site, on a ridge of slightly higher ground, lies the medieval church which is listed grade I and the churchyard of All Saints. Although an integral part of the medieval complex, the church and churchyard remain in ecclesiastical use and are therefore totally excluded from the scheduling. To the north-east of the churchyard, in the north-east corner of the monument, lies the second moated area which appears to have been set within a pre- existing enclosure, so that it now has two sets of ditches on the south and east sides; the original access to the church appears to have been along the strip of land between these ditches although the modern access now runs over the western side of the moated area. The moated area measures 50m north-south by 40m east-west surrounded by a ditch 4m wide and 0.75m deep. To the west of this second moated area and to the north of the church is a square silted pond measuring 38m by 38m and 0.75m deep. The sides of the pond have been revetted with brick and stone. West of this is a silted up medieval fishpond measuring 38m by 13m by 1m deep. Further earthworks survive between this fishpond and the modern farm buildings but are difficult to interpret. The site at Barmston was occupied from at least the mid 13th century and was originally part of the Burton Agnes estate. During the 16th century the site was the main residence of Sir Thomas Boynton, though the estate's principal house was, and remains, Burton Agnes Hall. The areas of the modern farm buildings are not included in the area of the scheduling. The parish church, a grade I listed building and churchyard are totally excluded from the scheduling. Barmston Old Hall, a grade II* listed building, and all other buildings within the monument are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath them is included.

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), 104
Le Patourel, H E J, Moated site of Yorkshire, (1973), 110
Loughlin, N, Miller, K, Survey of Archaeological Sites in Humberside, (1979), 75
Sheahan, J J, Whellan, T, History and Topography of York and the East Riding, (1855), 402
CUC BWC 024,


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].