Site of Archbishop's moated palace and fishponds, Hall Garth.


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


Ordnance survey map of Site of Archbishop's moated palace and fishponds, Hall Garth.
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

East Riding of Yorkshire (Unitary Authority)
Bishop Wilton
National Grid Reference:
SE 80069 55355

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 Hall Garth site is a very well preserved large moated site which has not been significantly disturbed since the medieval period. The scale of the remains indicate that this site was one of considerable contemporary importance, a point confirmed by surviving documentary evidence. The island retains extensive evidence of the buildings which formerly occupied it. The complex surrounding moat and fishponds will retain environmental and archaeological remains in the silts which have accumulated in them.


The monument includes a large medieval moated site with attached fishponds located at the eastern end of the village of Bishop Wilton. The moated island measures 180 metres south-west to north-east by 90 metres south-east to north-west, and is enclosed by a moat 3 metres wide and 3 metres deep. This moat has an outer bank 2 metres wide and surviving to a maximum height of one metre. A stream runs into and through the south-eastern arm of the moat, but the remainder of the moat is dry. Two large fishponds are incorporated into the moat, one located to the south of the south-eastern arm measures 50 metres by 5 metres. The other at the eastern corner of the monument measures 40 metres by 35 metres. The interior of the moated island exhibits a series of upstanding earthworks interpreted as the surviving remains of the buildings and other features which formerly occupied the island. These include remains of building platforms to the east of the site and, at the western corner of the site, a large circular tower. The moat was crossed on its north-western side, where remains of a gatehouse have been identified. There are remains of a building platform and a further earthwork outside the moat, to the south of the monument; these are considered to be integral to the monument. The site is thought to have been built for Archbishop Neville during the reign of Edward IV, though the manor itself had been in the hands of the See of York since the reign of the Saxon king Athelstan, and so it is likely that the remains visible today overlie earlier structures. The telegraph poles are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath them 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.

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Books and journals
Le Patourel, H E J, Moated site of Yorkshire, (1973), 117
Virtue, , Virtue's Gazetteer, (1868), 282
48, Humberside County Council Archaeological Record System (48), (1980)


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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