Moat with fishponds at Bagworth


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1010485

Date first listed: 09-Mar-1992


Ordnance survey map of Moat with fishponds at Bagworth
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Leicestershire

District: Hinckley and Bosworth (District Authority)

Parish: Bagworth & Thornton

National Grid Reference: SK 45342 08625, SK 45439 08681, SK 45656 08302


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 moat at Bagworth is an unusual example of a manorial site with exceptionally well-documented evidence of the manor and the associated fishponds. The water management complex and the moat survive in good condition and evidence for various stages of building and repair of the medieval house will be preserved in the moat's interior.


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


The monument at Bagworth is situated 1km north-east of the village and comprises a large moated site with a fishpond to the west and a second pond 250m to the south-east. The moated site measures 250 x 170m in overall dimensions, enclosing a rectangular island measuring 110 x 80m. The south, east and west ditches are on average 20m wide and 3-4m deep and are dry except for a north-south flowing stream in the eastern arm. The northern arm widens to 70m at the north-east corner of the island, where it continues northward for a further 50m. There are causeways in the north-west corner and the south; the latter considered to be the original entrance. The dry, triangular fishpond to the west is 55m long and 45m wide in maximum dimensions, with an extension channel 25m long on the north-west side and a triangular island 30m long. The fishpond to the south-east is dry and irregularly shaped, being 75 x 100m in maximum dimensions, and was fed by a stream from the north which forms the southern boundary. The stream bed is here included in the scheduling. The western side is bounded by a bank 3m high which is broken in several places, the remainder being dug out leaving a small irregularly shaped island which retains the original land surface. Documentary records for the site begin in 1279 when Anthony le Bek held a park in Bagworth with two fishponds. In 1318 Robert de Holland was granted a licence to crenellate a house but by 1372 the house had fallen into decay and the ponds are again mentioned because they had not been repaired. In the 15th century the site was acquired by William Hastings together with the Leicestershire sites of Ashby and Kirby Muxloe. He had licence to empark, build and again crenellate but never completed the work. Another house was built on the site in the early 17th century, and fell into ruin during the Civil War. The present house was built from the ruins in 1769. A 19th century account recalls the moat being full of water and later a great many antlers being found in the soil of the ditch when a drain was laid. Excluded from the scheduling are all standing buildings, structures and tennis courts 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.

Legacy System number: 17054

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Cooper, H R, An Historical Sketch of the Parish of Thornton, Bagworth etc., (1905)
Cantor, L, 'Transactions of the Leicestershire Arch and Historical Society' in The Medieval Castles of Leicestershire (Volume 53), , Vol. 53, (1978)

End of official listing