Thorpe Lubenham moated site and remains of shifted medieval village


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1009598

Date first listed: 04-Jun-1952

Date of most recent amendment: 22-Dec-1992


Ordnance survey map of Thorpe Lubenham moated site and remains of shifted medieval village
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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This copy shows the entry on 11-Dec-2018 at 15:27:22.


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

County: Northamptonshire

District: Daventry (District Authority)

Parish: Marston Trussell

National Grid Reference: SP 70408 86872, SP 70493 86823


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 moated site was an important element within the village of Thorpe Lubenham. Although the village has continued in use to the modern day, with consequent disturbance of earlier remains, an area of earthworks of the original village survives west of the moat. These earthworks belong to part of an earlier settlement which was deserted as the village either shrank or shifted its focus further northwards. The moated site and village earthworks survive in good condition, indicating a direct association between a prestigious manorial site and part of a contemporary medieval rural settlement. These areas retain considerable potential for the survival of environmental and archaeological evidence relating to the occupation of the site.


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


The monument includes the manorial moated site at Thorpe Lubenham and the remains of village earthworks which lie to the west of the moat. The monument is divided into two areas. The moat is the site of a manor house associated with the medieval village of Thorpe Lubenham. The moat is about 85m square and orientated NS-EW. The island is enclosed by a waterfilled ditch approximately 2m deep and 8m wide and there is an entrance causeway in the south east corner. A series of earthwork depressions and platforms mark the foundations of the manorial residence. Earthwork remains of part of the village of Thorpe Lubenham can be identified to the west of the moat, covering an area of about 2ha. They include a distinct hollow way running from north to south and house platforms and garden plots which can be traced on either side. The village of Thorpe Lubenham was first documented in the Domesday Book and there are tax records relating to the village throughout the 14th century. By 1547 the focus of the village had shifted northwards and records indicate that the land was used for sheep pasture. The manor house appears to have been occupied throughout much of the period until it was demolished in the 18th century.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract. It includes a 2 metre boundary around the archaeological features, considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number: 13651

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Royal Commission on Historical Monuments of England, , RCHM on Northants141

End of official listing