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 size of the island of New Hall moat and documentary evidence indicate that
it was a manorial residence of some importance. As the island has suffered
only minimal disturbance in the past, building foundations and other
archaeological material will survive extensively. In addition, organic and
environmental material will be preserved in the waterlogged ponds.
New Hall moat is situated at New Hall Farm between Overton and Netherton. The
monument includes the island and partially filled-in ditch of a large, roughly
square moat with an adjacent fishpond. The site is partly overlain by modern
farm buildings and cottages but incorporated into the cottage range in the
western half of the monument is a semi-derelict outbuilding reported to
contain sixteenth and seventeenth century masonry. This would have been
associated with an earlier house since demolished.
The visible remains of the ditch lie mainly to the east and south-east and
measure on average c.10m wide by 3.5m deep. A bank runs along the inside
Part of the north arm is also visible, acting as a natural drain for the
surrounding area. Most of this section has been filled in, however, and
exists as a buried feature beneath the modern farmyard. A pond immediately
north of the cottages is another visible remnant of the north arm while a
large pond to the east is believed to have been a manorial fishpond. The west
arm of the moat formerly lay to the west of the walled garden behind the
cottages and, though now filled in, was open till about the middle of this
century. The south arm is also now largely filled in but is known to have
extended roughly along the line of the south wall of the garden. It is
possible that the original bridging point onto the island was across the south
arm, where New Hall Lane now enters.
The ditch encloses an island measuring c.70m by 60m. This is only partially
occupied by modern farm buildings with the remainder of the area surviving as
a grass paddock. The site was one of three manorial sites known to have
existed in the parish of Sitlington during the Middle Ages and, in the late
thirteenth century, was held by Sir Richard Touche. A number of features
are excluded from the scheduling. These include all modern buildings,
outbuildings, walling and fencing and the surface of the farmyard, lane and
paths. The ground beneath these exclusions is, however, included.
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.