Moated site 300m NE of All Saints Church
Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number: 1011453
Date first listed: 16-Mar-1994
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
District: East Lindsey (District Authority)
National Grid Reference: TF 46336 55579
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 medieval moated site at Moat House, Friskney exhibits a variety of features. The site has remained largely under pasture and has never been excavated. The remains therefore survive well both as earthworks and below-ground remains. Waterlogging in the area of the moat suggests a high level of survival for organic remains. The monument is one of only two sites in the parish where traces of the medieval landscape are evident and the understanding of the monument has been increased by a detailed archaeological survey. The remains of the post-medieval house and the earthworks of its surrounding formal gardens are of interest in their own right as an example of the conversion of medieval functional features into more decorative ones.
The monument includes a medieval moated site situated at Moat House on the
north-eastern edge of the village of Friskney. This is the site of the
medieval hall of the Friskney family, constructed in the Norman period and
ruined before the 18th century. The remains include the earthworks of a
raised, moated platform on which the medieval house stood, and two adjacent
moated enclosures. In one of these enclosures the remains of the medieval
period are overlain by those of a post-medieval house, constructed in the
early 16th century and largely destroyed 200 years later; this site is now
occupied by the present Moat House which is not included in the scheduling.
Associated with the post-medieval house are the remains of canals and other
garden features. The monument thus includes the earthworks of the medieval
moated site, comprising multiple moated enclosures, with overlying house,
gardens and associated features including the remains of two former trackways.
The monument lies in an area of domestic garden and pasture surrounded on
nearly all sides by drained and cultivated fenland. The remains include a
group of three adjacent moated enclosures occupying a rectangular area
approximately 100m x 110m. The first enclosure, which occupies the northern
quarter of the site, takes the form of a raised platform, c.50m square,
bounded on three sides by a hollow and on the fourth (north-east) side by a
modern drainage ditch. On all four sides there is an internal scarp up to 2m
in height and on the north-west, south-west and south-east sides are the
remains of an internal bank approximately 4m wide. Along the bank are small
levelled areas and in the middle of the platform is a broad depression. These
earthworks are considered to represent the remains of the medieval hall,
partly overlain by post-medieval features including a modern trackway.
Immediately adjacent to, and to the south-east of, the first enclosure is a
second, slightly smaller, enclosure, approximately 55m x 30m, on which the
present Moat House now stands. This enclosure is separated from the first by a
hollow c.10m wide and up to 2m deep. A similar hollow, partly water-filled,
encloses this platform on the south-west and south-east sides. The interior of
the moated area, now mainly lawn, is raised and stands at a similar level to
the first enclosure; at its highest point, near the western corner, stands the
present house. This enclosure is considered to have formed part of the
medieval moated complex, where outbuildings or gardens contemporary with the
medieval hall would have been located. Beneath the present dwelling are the
remains of a house, built about 1520, which was burnt down in the late 17th/
early 18th century. The moat on the north-west, south-west and south-east
sides, now partly water-filled, was re-cut in the post-medieval period as a
drainage and garden feature.
Adjacent to, and to the south-west of, the first two enclosures is a larger,
rectangular enclosure, approximately 40m x 80m, separated from the first two
by a hollow up to 11m wide and 1.5m deep. Along the north-east and south-east
sides is an L-shaped bank, approximately 10m wide on its north-west/south-east
arm and 25m wide south-west to north-east. Along the bank are a number of
small levelled areas and depressions; halfway along the long arm are a pair of
mounds. The remainder of the enclosure is occupied by a rectangular area of
low-lying earthworks, separated from the bank by an L-shaped linear
depression, representing a former channel across which there is a narrow
causeway. The whole of the enclosure is considered to have originated as part
of the medieval moated complex where outbuildings and enclosures for animals
or gardens would have been sited. The bank is believed to have been raised in
the post-medieval period when the moat which runs alongside it was re-cut as a
garden feature. A linear, water-filled ditch, up to 10m in width and hedge-
lined on both sides, bounds the enclosure on the south-west and is also
considered to be a post-medieval garden feature re-cut from an earlier moat.
The north-west side of the enclosure is bounded by a hollow representing the
remains of a medieval moat, partly overlain by a later trackway.
On the south-west side of the moated complex is a further area of raised
ground, standing up to 2m higher than the ground to the west, and on a similar
level to the earthworks on the interior of the moated site. This area is
considered to represent a further part of the medieval site, having been
raised in the post-medieval period with the re-cutting of the adjacent moat.
It is also the site of a former trackway. Near the northern end it is cut by a
shallow linear depression representing a short channel which formerly
connected the moat to a drainage channel on the west. The north-western corner
of the monument is occupied by a further raised area, also the site of a
Along the north-western edge of the moated site are the remains of an external
bank surviving as a low, linear mound on the edge of the arable field. Similar
remains survive on the south-eastern edge of the moated site. The north-
eastern edge of the site is defined in part by a modern drainage ditch and in
part by a gentle slope. On this side the medieval moated complex is believed
to have been bounded by a body of water such as a large pond.
Excluded from the scheduling are Moat House and associated outbuildings, the
bridges across the moats to the north and east of Moat House and all fences
but the ground beneath all these features 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: 22615
Legacy System: RSM
Books and journals
White, W, Directory of Lincolnshire, (1872), 281
Ordnance Survey, Baird, J., TF 45 NE 2, (1965)
RCHM survey, Moat - site of Friskney Hall, (1993)
RCHM survey, RCHM, Moat - site of Friskney Hall, (1993)
resident and amateur historian, Miss Pope, (1993)
sale particulars, (1903)
Site Number 41781, Site of Friskney Hall and moat, (1991)
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