Moated fishpond complex with moat, fishstews, seven fishponds with sluices, ridge and furrow and a leat


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


Ordnance survey map of Moated fishpond complex with moat, fishstews, seven fishponds with sluices, ridge and furrow and a leat
© Crown Copyright and database right 2019. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2019. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
Use of this data is subject to Terms and Conditions.

The above map is for quick reference purposes only and may not be to scale. For a copy of the full scale map, please see the attached PDF - 1009123 .pdf

The PDF will be generated from our live systems and may take a few minutes to download depending on how busy our servers are. We apologise for this delay.

This copy shows the entry on 17-Sep-2019 at 01:13:25.


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 moated fishponds at Egmanton are a well-preserved example and illustrate well the diversity of form and function of this class of monument. The associated leat and ridge and furrow survive equally well, the latter being a particularly rare survival in Nottinghamshire.


The monument includes a group of seven fishponds with sluices, a line of smaller filled-in fishstews, the moat which encloses four of the fishponds and the line of fishstews, a leat and an area of ridge and furrow. The moat consists of a rectangular island surrounded by a ditch averaging 9m wide by 3m deep and enclosed, in turn, by a 5m wide revetment bank. To compensate for the slope of the surrounding land, the height of the revetment bank increases from less than 0.5m on the north side to 1m on the south side. On the north side, a levelled area approximately halfway along indicates a likely bridging point onto the island where there is a corresponding depression. On the west side, the bank has been disturbed by modern ploughing so that its state of preservation is not fully understood. For this reason this bank has been excluded from the scheduling on this side. The island measures 92m from west to east by 56m from north to south and is the site of three rectangular fishponds. The easternmost is orientated north to south and is set 10m in from the edge of the island on the north and east sides, and 6m in on the south side. It measures 12m by 39m, and a channel representing a sluice to control the movement of water and fish runs into the east arm of the ditch from a point 15m up from the south-east corner of the pond. To the east of the fishpond, against the edge of the island, is a line of faint rectangular depressions which have been interpreted as a group of fishstews, each measuring c.7m by 5m. Fishstews are small ponds used for spawning and care of fry. The second and third fishponds lie 10m to the west of the first and are both 41m long by 10m wide and orientated west to east. The southernmost lies 6m in from the south edge of the island and is connected to the south arm of the moat by a sluice which runs from its south-east corner. The northernmost lies 10m in from the north side and both are c.20m from the west side. A 2m wide channel extends from the south-west corner of the northern fishpond towards the south-west corner of the island. Here it widens into a fourth partially filled-in fishpond measuring c.10m square. The west side of this fourth pond connects directly with the moat and would have been the site of wooden sluice gates. Each of the rectangular fishponds is c.2m deep. In addition to the four fishponds on the island, there are three on the outside of the moat. The largest lies off the south-east corner of the moat, connected to it via a sluice which runs through the south arm of the revetment bank, angling slightly westward. This pond is c.1m deep and measures 33m from north to south by 11m from east to west. It is enclosed by a 3m wide bank which stands c.0.5m high. Another sluice runs off the north-west corner of the pond, just south of its junction with the bank round the moat. This additional sluice indicates that another fishpond lay to the west, and this is supported by the fact that the revetment bank round the south side of the moat stops 10m short of the south-west corner where the moat formerly fed into this other pond. This pond may have gone out of use at an earlier date than the rest of the complex since the area it occupied now contains the earthwork remains of ridge and furrow ploughing. A corresponding but less pronounced break in the revetment bank lies at the north-west corner of the moat. To the north of it can be seen a shallow rectangular depression representing another fishpond measuring 12m from east to west by 6m north to south. The stream which originally fed the moat now runs from west to east c.10m north of this last fishpond. The two would originally have connected, and a faint depression leading north from the fishpond may be the old line of the stream though it is now filled-in. Leading from the east arm of the moat, 50m south of the north-east corner, is a distinct 2m wide watercourse or leat which can be traced as far as the eastern field boundary as a deeper depression in the surrounding ridge and furrow. It follows the same reversed-C curve as the ridge and furrow running east to west on either side of it, but continues through the revetment bank on the east side of the moat while the ridge and furrow stops short of the bank on a pronounced headland. North of the moat, just south of the modern field boundary, another block of ridge and furrow meets the first at right-angles but cannot be seen north of the field boundary where it has been ploughed away. To the south of the moat can be seen a dried-up roughly circular pond. This cuts through the ridge and furrow and therefore post-dates it. Ridge and furrow cultivation was carried out throughout the medieval and post-medieval periods, and so the surviving earthworks cannot be precisely dated without evidence from documents or excavation. However, they were once part of a much wider open-field system and will be broadly contemporary with the fishponds. All field boundaries and gates are excluded from the scheduling though the ground underneath 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), 312


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

Your Contributions

Do you know more about this entry?

The following information has been contributed by users volunteering for our Enriching The List project. For small corrections to the List Entry please see our Minor Amendments procedure.

The information and images below are the opinion of the contributor, are not part of the official entry and do not represent the official position of Historic England. We have not checked that the contributions below are factually accurate. Please see our terms and conditions. If you wish to report an issue with a contribution or have a question please email [email protected].