Moated site and water-management features south of White House


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


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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)
National Grid Reference:
SE 71202 43922

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 limited disturbance to the moat's drainage channels, the moated site south of White House survives well. The island is unencumbered by modern building and will retain evidence of the buildings which occupied it.


The monument is a large moated site to the south of the village of Storwood; it is situated on ground above the Pocklington Canal and the old course of the River Derwent. It includes a sub-rectangular island 90m long, north-south, and 70m wide, east-west, which is defined by a dry moat which is between 10m and 25m wide and between 1.5m and 3m deep. Immediately external to the northern and eastern arms of the moat there is an earthen bank 7m wide and up to 1.5m high. An earthen bank is also visible immediately external to the moat's western arm; it is between 5m and 9m wide and is up to 1m high. Water-management features extend from the south-western and north-western corners of the moat, both features are overflow channels designed to carry water from the moat to the river course. Excess water was carried away by these two channels which ran off to the west from the moat's western arm. The channel which runs from the north-west corner is 10m wide and up to 2m deep. Where this channel connects with the moat it has been partially dammed with an earth bank; the 2m wide gap in this dam would have held wooden sluices to control the water. There are flanking earthen banks 5m wide and up to 1m high immediately external to the drainage channels. The features at the south- western corner are more complex than those to the north. Here the western arm of the moat has been subdivided by an earthen bank 15m long, 4m wide and 0.5m high. This connects with a large bank 6m wide and 5m long which extends into the moat from the west and which is believed to have been a bridge platform affording access to the island. Close to the bridge platform there is a 1m wide break in the dividing earthen bank which would have held wooden sluice gates. The section of the moat to the west of the dividing bank connects with a heavily silted channel between 8m and 10m wide and up to 0.5m deep which runs westwards toward the old river course. Both drainage channels have been truncated to the west by works associated with the construction of the Pocklington canal. A heavily silted channel 0.3m wide and 0.15m deep runs into the southern arm of the moat; this channel is interpreted as a post-medieval field drain as it connects to other drainage features and boundary ditches. The monument is believed to have belonged to the De Roos family who built Helmsley Castle and held property right across Yorkshire. It has also been suggested that this monument began life as the site known from documentary sources as Wheldrake Castle which was built between 1178 and 1185 and which had a licence for refortification revoked by the Crown in 1199 before works were completed. It is not certain whether this moated site and Wheldrake Castle occupy the same site and no identifiable remains of any monument predating the moated site remain visible.

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
Le Patourel, H E J, Moated site of Yorkshire, (1973), 116
Loughlin, N, Miller, K, Survey of Archaeological Sites in Humberside, (1979), 89
Renn, D F, Norman Castles in Britain, (1968), 344
AJC 56/38, 57/3-4, Crawshaw, A J,
CUC ARC 1-2, CUC ARC 1-2,


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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