Atlow moated site, enclosures and causeway


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1011620

Date first listed: 04-Oct-1995


Ordnance survey map of Atlow moated site, enclosures and causeway
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Derbyshire

District: Derbyshire Dales (District Authority)

Parish: Atlow

National Grid Reference: SK 22688 48525


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 moated site at Atlow is a well preserved example of a small homestead moat where additional features survive outside the moat itself, demonstrating the diversity of this class of monument. The monument has suffered only minimal disturbance since it was abandoned and retains the buried remains of buildings and other features throughout. Well preserved organic and environmental remains will also survive in the waterlogged deposits of the moat.


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


The monument is situated on the north west side of Henmore Brook and includes a moated site, two banked enclosures and a raised track or causeway which leads to the moat from the north west and separates the enclosures. The moated site comprises a roughly square platform measuring 36m by 38m surrounded by a 10m wide moat with a 1m high outer bank. A channel leads from the southern corner of the moat to the brook and would have acted as a drain for water soaking into the moat from the slope to the north west. It is unlikely that the moat was ever entirely waterfilled. On the north west side of the moat, there is a semi-circular indentation in the edge of the platform. This lies opposite the causeway and indicates the site of a bridge across the moat. In the middle of the moat there is a dressed gritstone block interpreted as part of a bridge support. The causeway is c.4m wide and extends northwards for c.80m. The enclosures, which are each c.80m square, are too overgrown for any features to be discerned, but they would have been the sites of ancillary buildings associated with the moated homestead. It is recorded that, in very dry weather, the outlines of buildings can also be seen on the moated platform. Documentary evidence indicates that the site was, at one time, the home of the Atlow family and passed by marriage to the Okeovers. Under the Okeovers it was held by the Parkers, a junior branch of the Atlow family. Excluded from the scheduling is a septic tank, although the ground beneath it is included.

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: 23297

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
The Victoria History of the County of Derby: Volume I, (1905), 388
Jeayes, IH, Descriptive Catalogue of Derbyshire Charters, (1906), 149-55
Craven, D. and Drage, C., Moated Sites List, 1982, SMR

End of official listing