Shaw Fosse moated site


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1007847

Date first listed: 25-Nov-1993


Ordnance survey map of Shaw Fosse moated site
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: East Riding of Yorkshire (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Humbleton

National Grid Reference: TA 22752 35166

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.

Shaw Fosse survives well and will retain evidence of the buildings which once occupied the island. It has also been identified as a monastic farm or grange. Such sites were fairly numerous in the medieval period but only a small number can now be positively identified on the ground. This example will contribute to the study of the economy of its parent house, Thornton Abbey.


The moat is the Shaw Fosse moated site at Humbleton. It includes a sub- rectangular island enclosed within a dry moat. The island enclosed by the moat measures 105m long east-west by a maximum of 30m wide north-south. The northern and western arms of the moat are between 12m and 15m wide and up to 4m deep. The southern and eastern arms are up to 10m wide and 3m deep. Access is provided to the island by two modern earthen causeways; one crosses the southern arm, the other the eastern arm. The moated site is thought to have been a grange of Thornton Abbey which owned estates in and around Humbleton.

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: 21205

Legacy System: RSM


3094, Humberside SMR,

End of official listing