Moat, three fishponds, enclosures, hollow way and part of a road at Hall Yard


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.

Newark and Sherwood (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:

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 moat at Hall Yard is a good example of a large manorial moat with attached fishponds and enclosures and is unusual in that it is associated with a major medieval road and ford. Since it has suffered only minor disturbance since it was abandoned, the remains of buildings and structures will survive well throughout the monument, along with the relationship between the road and manorial complex.


The monument includes the moat, three fishponds, enclosures, a hollow way and part of the former route of a major road at Hall Yard. The latter includes a ford across Moorhouse Beck. The moat is situated at the north-west corner of the monument and includes a rectangular platform measuring 32m x 38m surrounded by an 18m wide ditch. An outer revetment bank is visible on the south and east sides of the ditch and is 9m wide by 1m high. The moated platform is raised c.1m higher than the surrounding area and the ditch is c.2m deep. There is a probable bridging point from the road to the platform c.15m from the south-east corner of the latter. To the west of the moat, alongside Moorhouse Beck, are the remains of three rectangular fishponds of which the northernmost is the largest at 20m from north to south by 11m from east to west. It survives to a depth of c.1.5m whereas the remaining fishponds have been partially filled in and appear as shallow sunken areas varying in depth between 0.5m and 1m. The middle pond measures 7m from east to west by 5m from north to south while the south pond is roughly 12m x 14m. Both the north and south ponds are connected to the stream via sluices which lead from the south- west and north-west corners respectively.

The bank along the east side of the moat forms the west side of a rectangular banked enclosure measuring 70m from north to south by 40m from east to west. The eastern half of this enclosure is subdivided by additional banks and ditches to create two smaller pens. Part of another small enclosure exists to the east but appears to have been truncated by the modern field boundary. A long linear ditch measuring c.3m wide by 0.75m deep runs along the southern edge of these enclosures and along the south side of the moat. This ditch marks the north side of the road which bisects the site. This road is c.16m wide and also flanked by a ditch along the south side. Due to its size and form it was clearly a road of some importance and has been interpreted as part of the former course of the Great North Road. Parts of this road are known to have originated in the Roman period though this section, in its surviving form, appears to date to the late medieval or post medieval period. At its western extreme, the road crosses Moorhouse Beck via a now obsolete ford. At this point, near present day Cliff Bridge, it rejoins the current Great North Road (the B1164). Further remains relating to the road are expected to exist east of the area of the scheduling but their extent and state of survival are not yet sufficiently understood for them to be included in the scheduling. The banked enclosures to the south of the road are similar in form to those on the north side and include four main enclosures with, in some cases, evidence of sub-divisions and, in one case, the earthwork remains of a long building, possibly a barn or byre, with two small yards attached. Without excavation, it is impossible to fully identify these features but, as they do not have the appearance of individual house-plots and crofts, they have been interpreted as manorial enclosures related to the medieval or post medieval manor house that would have occupied the moat. They were served by the sunken track or hollow way that extends along the south side.

A number of features in the area are excluded from the scheduling. These are the boundary fences, gates and telegraph poles, however the ground beneath these features 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 Nottinghamshire: Volume I, (1906), 311


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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