Paradise Lodge moated site and grange of the Prior of Bolton


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.

North Yorkshire
Selby (District Authority)
Ryther cum Ossendyke
National Grid Reference:
SE 54305 37134

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.

Although the interior of the island has been ploughed and the moat has been partially infilled, this site at Paradise Lodge is reasonably well-preserved. The foundations of stone buildings will survive on the island and the bottom of the moat contains silts in which organic remains will survive. The moat is also known from historical records to have an important association with the Priors of Bolton.


The monument includes a moated site which was used as a grange by the Priors of Bolton in the 14th century, and which is located immediately to the west of Paradise Lodge farm house. Three arms of the moat are visible. The western arm is now 50m long by 10m wide and 1.5m deep; the 1908 edition of the O.S. 25 inch map shows that the western arm was originally 10m longer with an out- turned northern end which is now infilled and is apparent as a slight depression. The southern arm is 50m long and 2m deep, widening from 8m at its western end to 12m across at the east where it forms a pond. The eastern arm is 50m long by up to 12m wide, with a narrowing about half-way along it which held a sluice gate to control water flow. The eastern arm is at least 1.5m deep and holds standing water; although the southern and western arms are now dry, they have held standing water in the recent past and the silts in the bottom of the ditches will be partially waterlogged. Old maps suggest that a pond originally lay south-west of the moated site, connected to its south- western corner, and that a second, detached pond lay 20m north of the end of the northern arm; both have now been infilled and it is unclear if they were medieval in origin. They are not, therefore, included in the scheduling. The northern arm of the moat had been infilled before 1908 and, although it is no longer visible, the ditch will survive as a buried feature running at right- angles to the end of the western arm of the moat. The moat island is roughly rectangular in plan, measuring 30m east-west by 40m north-south, and foundations of buildings have been observed on it. Dumps of high quality building stone incorporated into a rockery on the outer scarp of the south- western corner of the moat provide further evidence of the type of structures associated with the site. Documentary sources indicate that the site was used as a grange by the Priors of Bolton in the 14th century. The site lies close to Paradise Wood, an area of semi-natural ancient woodland which would have been managed in medieval times as a source of timber, fuel and forage, providing an important resource for the moated site's inhabitants. All fences 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. 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
Carter, A, Inventory of Woodland: North Yorkshire, (1978)
Le Patourel, H E J, Moated site of Yorkshire, (1973)
Le Patourel, H E J, Moated site of Yorkshire, (1973)
Title: Ordnance Survey 25" Series Source Date: 1908 Author: Publisher: Surveyor:


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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