Moated site and fishponds south-east of St Mary's Church


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1009173

Date first listed: 25-Feb-1953

Date of most recent amendment: 07-Apr-1993


Ordnance survey map of Moated site and fishponds south-east of St Mary's Church
© Crown Copyright and database right 2019. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Leicestershire

District: Harborough (District Authority)

Parish: Ashby Magna

National Grid Reference: SP 56495 90392


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.

Unusually for Leicestershire the moated site at Ashby Magna is circular in shape. The association of well preserved fishponds adds considerable potential for the survival of waterlogged environmental and archaeological remains at this site.


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


The moated site at Ashby Magna lies south-east of the village, 100m from the parish church, and includes a fishpond complex. The moat is sub-circular with an island measuring 38m x 28m. The partly waterlogged ditch is up to 12m wide and 3m deep, opening out on the eastern side to form a fishpond 25m wide. On the northern side of the moat is an outer bank 8m wide and 1m high. To the south are three further dry fishponds adjoining a stream which runs south-north and also fed by a spring lying to the south-west. Two fishponds lie on the western side of the stream, the northerly one measuring 25m x 33m and the second 28m x 35m with banks on the western side up to 2m in height and a dividing bank 1m high and 8m wide. The southern fishpond is waterlogged but does not contain standing water. On the eastern side of the stream is a fishpond measuring 50m x 25m which is at a higher level than those to the west and is defined by a bank 6m wide and 0.5m high. This pond was fed by a channel from a spring to the east.

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: 17040

Legacy System: RSM

End of official listing