Old Little Humber 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)
National Grid Reference:
TA 20613 23663

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 Old Little Humber survives well. The island is largely unencumbered by modern building and will retain evidence of the buildings which formerly occupied it. The surrounding moat survives well and retains conditions suitable for the preservation of organic materials.


The monument is the moated site at Old Little Humber. It includes the remains of a moated site and adjacent earthworks which are contemporary with it. The island enclosed by the moat measures 60m north-south and 40m east-west. The moat which surrounds it remains visible on the north, east, and west sides where it is 10m wide and up to 1.5m deep. The bottom of this moat remains waterlogged. The southern arm of the moat has been largely in-filled, possibly when the farm and associated buildings were constructed in this area. The south end of the western arm of the moat has been brick-revetted late in its history to form a washing pond for animals from the adjacent farm. At the north-western corner of the moat a wide drainage ditch continues the line of the moat north for 50m. The character of this ditch is comparable to the adjacent moat and it is interpreted as an element of the medieval site. Immediately to the east of this ditch is an embanked trackway which may have provided access to the moated site. At the north-eastern corner of the moat a similar drainage ditch extends north from the moat before curving to the east. This is also interpreted as an element of the moated site as it defines a small additional enclosure within its curve, the southern edge of which is marked by an earthen bank 10m wide and 0.5m high. To the north of the moated site a rectangular pond may have had medieval origins and been associated with the moated site. It is not included in the scheduling as it has recently been scoured out and is not thought to retain any archaeological remains. This site was originally held by the monks of Albermarle and was a manor from 1260. In 1395 the property was conveyed to Kirkstall Abbey in West Yorkshire and was held by them until the Dissolution of the Monasteries by Henry VIII. The area around the site was cultivated in the Middle Ages, evidenced by an area of ridge and furrow which survives to the west of the monument. A brick shed and a brick-built air-raid shelter which stand on the island 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
The Victoria History of the County of Yorkshire - The East Riding, (1984), 115
Le Patourel, H E J, Moated site of Yorkshire, (1973), 114


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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