Moated grange at Monk Farm


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1008675

Date first listed: 25-Jul-1975

Date of most recent amendment: 11-Oct-1993


Ordnance survey map of Moated grange at Monk Farm
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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: Holme upon Spalding Moor

National Grid Reference: SE 78525 37547

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 Monk Farm survives well. The island is unencumbered by modern building and will retain evidence of the buildings which occupied it. The site 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, Selby Abbey.


The monument is the moated site at Monk Farm. It includes a sub-rectangular island surrounded by a single moat which is now dry. The enclosed island measures 60m long, north-south, by 25m wide, east-west. The surrounding moat is between 1.5m and 1.75m deep; its eastern and northern arms are 5m wide, the western arm is 7m wide, and the southern arm is 6m wide. An earthen causeway crosses the southern arm of the moat, connecting the island to the green lane which lies immediately to the south of the moated site. The moated site was constructed in the twelfth century as a grange of Selby Abbey. After the Dissolution of the Monasteries the site was, according to local tradition, used as a regular overnight stop for prisoners being taken from Hull to the York Assizes, though there is no sound proof of this. The scheduling includes a 2m surrounding margin on the northern, western and eastern sides considered essential to the support and preservation of the monument.

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: 21201

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Le Patourel, H E J, Moated site of Yorkshire, (1973), 113
Loughlin, N, Miller, K, Survey of Archaeological Sites in Humberside, (1979), 43
Fowler, J T, 'Yorks. Arch. Soc. Record Series' in The Coucher Book of Selby Abbey, , Vol. 13, (1893), 26-40

End of official listing