Ferneyrigg moated site


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1011101

Date first listed: 16-Nov-1961

Date of most recent amendment: 12-Jan-1994


Ordnance survey map of Ferneyrigg moated site
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This copy shows the entry on 11-Dec-2018 at 13:46:37.


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

District: Northumberland (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Kirkwhelpington

National Grid Reference: NY 95964 83599


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.

Despite partial infilling of the southern arm of the moat and the present occupation and use of the eastern half of the enclosed platform, the moated site at Ferneyrigg remains well preserved and retains significant archaeological remains, including evidence of the buildings which originally occupied the western half of the platform. The importance of the monument is enhanced by the survival of other moated sites and a deserted medieval village in the area. Moated sites are uncommon in Northumberland and this one will contribute to any study of the wider rural settlement pattern at this time.


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


The monument is a medieval moated site occupying the western end of a low ridge. The moat includes a raised rectangular platform 120m east-west by 50m north-south. This is surrounded on the north and west sides and on the north-east angle by a ditch 8m wide, and an outer bank 8m wide which is 1.4m high above the bottom of the ditch. On much of the southern side of the site the ditch and bank have been infilled and built over. The eastern half of the central platform is now occupied by the present farm of Ferneyrigg. The original buildings are likely to have been more centrally placed on the platform. The monument is surrounded on all sides by an extensive system of medieval ridge and furrow. The following features are excluded from the scheduling but the ground beneath them is included: the surface of the track which crosses the ditch and bank at the northern end, the two wooden sheds which are situated on the edge of the constraint area to the west of the present farm, all stone walls and fences which cross or delimit the constraint area and the sheep dip situated within the southern edge of the monument.

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: 21012

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Jobey, G, 'Archaeologia Aeliana 4 ser 38' in Rectlinear Settlements of the Roman Period in Northumberland, (1960), 36

End of official listing