Moat, fishponds and shifted village earthworks at Ullesthorpe


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


Ordnance survey map of Moat, fishponds and shifted village earthworks at Ullesthorpe
© Crown Copyright and database right 2019. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2019. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
Use of this data is subject to Terms and Conditions.

The above map is for quick reference purposes only and may not be to scale. For a copy of the full scale map, please see the attached PDF - 1010300 .pdf

The PDF will be generated from our live systems and may take a few minutes to download depending on how busy our servers are. We apologise for this delay.

This copy shows the entry on 22-Oct-2019 at 06:48:11.


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

Harborough (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:
SP 50166 87333

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.

Ullesthorpe moat and fishponds form part of a wider settlement which was deserted as the village either shrank or shifted its focus further northwards. Although part of this settlement has continued in use to the modern day, with consequent disturbance of the earlier remains, earthworks of the earlier settlement include the various house plots and, importantly, the location of a prestigious residence surrounded by a moat and fishponds. Together, the remains of the moat and the shrunken village provide important evidence of the changing patterns of agricultural settlement in the Leicestershire medieval landscape.


The site lies south west of the village of Ullesthorpe 4km north west of Lutterworth. The moat comprises a prominent rectangular island measuring approximately 25 x 12m, containing exposed stonework of manorial building foundations, and has a ditch 12-18m wide and 2-2.5m deep on the north, south and east sides. This opens out to form a fishpond 25m wide on the west side, which extends a further 60m to the north and curves around to the east almost enclosing a second island. The whole system is fed by a channel from the north leading to a stream which originally flowed through the site. South of this is a further large fishpond measuring 90 x 55m which contains islands. Below this a channel leads to a prominent water course, 1m deep and 10m wide, which returns to the present stream and has several adjoining house platforms on either side of about 0.5m in height.

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:
Legacy System:


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

Your Contributions

Do you know more about this entry?

The following information has been contributed by users volunteering for our Enriching The List project. For small corrections to the List Entry please see our Minor Amendments procedure.

The information and images below are the opinion of the contributor, are not part of the official entry and do not represent the official position of Historic England. We have not checked that the contributions below are factually accurate. Please see our terms and conditions. If you wish to report an issue with a contribution or have a question please email [email protected].