Moated site and fishponds south-west of Highfields Farm


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1009172

Date first listed: 25-Feb-1953

Date of most recent amendment: 04-Jan-1993


Ordnance survey map of Moated site and fishponds south-west of Highfields Farm
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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This copy shows the entry on 10-Dec-2018 at 21:37:33.


The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Leicestershire

District: Harborough (District Authority)

Parish: South Kilworth

National Grid Reference: SP 60278 81697, SP 60410 81442


Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

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 monument at South Kilworth survives reasonably well and contains an extensive system of fishponds which will contain waterlogged deposits of organic material.


Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.


The site at South Kilworth lies south of the village on a stream which feeds Stanford Reservoir 0.5km to the south. It includes a moated site and three fishponds and is divided into two separate areas. The main element of the monument is the moat which is water-filled and measures approximately 60 x 50m overall, the moat being 7-8m wide and enclosing a sub-rectangular island. Fishponds adjoin the moat on two sides. Those on the south-east are water-filled and take the form of two ponds each measuring 65 x 30m. The pond on the north-west side does not retain standing water but it is waterlogged. It measures 50 x 70m at its longest dimensions and its north-west end is triangular in shape, narrowing to the point at which a feeder stream enters it. The pond is surrounded by an earthwork bank 1m high. Across the Rugby Road, 100m to the north-west is a further linear fishpond which measures 140 x 2Om. Originally this fishpond would have been linked by channels to the moated complex. The whole system is now fed by a stream which flows from the north-west immediately to the west of the site. It is probable that this stream originally fed the complex through a series of connecting channels and sluices. Documentary references show that the manor was held by the Belgrave family in the 16th and 17th centuries. In 1633 it was known as Well Close `where formerly stood the manor house'.

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: 17037

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Nichols, J, The History and Antiquities of the County of Leicestershire, (1811)
Nichols, J, The History and Antiquities of the County of Leicestershire, (1804)

End of official listing