Moated site at Ab Kettleby


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1010705

Date first listed: 22-Oct-1952

Date of most recent amendment: 04-Sep-1991


Ordnance survey map of Moated site at Ab Kettleby
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Leicestershire

District: Melton (District Authority)

Parish: Ab Kettleby

National Grid Reference: SK 72495 22859

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 at Ab Kettleby is a well preserved example of a farm or monastic site with possible proprietorial connections with Launde Abbey, an important 12th century Leicestershire priory.


The moated site at Ab Kettleby lies on the eastern side of the church, with the village to the north, and open countryside to the south. The site comprises a moat and an integrated fishpond. The moated area defines a roughly square island with the eastern arm widening by 40m to form a fishpond. The south side of the moat is defined by a straight bank, cut through in two places. The bank is 1m high from the outer ground surface and the inner ditch is 2m deep. To the west the outer bank is defined by the edge of the churchyard. The northern arm has been infilled, but survives as a low earthwork of about 0.5m in height. It is not known for certain whether the Ab Kettleby moat was a grange or monastic site. Documentary sources of the 18th century refer to an abbey, while other records suggest it was a grange belonging to Launde Abbey.

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: 17020

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Nichols, J, The History and Antiquities of the County of Leicestershire, (1804), 15

End of official listing