Holmesfield moated site and headland


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1011621

Date first listed: 29-Dec-1952

Date of most recent amendment: 17-Jan-1994


Ordnance survey map of Holmesfield moated site and headland
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This copy shows the entry on 19-Jan-2019 at 14:44:34.


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

County: Derbyshire

District: North East Derbyshire (District Authority)

Parish: Holmesfield

National Grid Reference: SK 32172 77945


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 Holmesfield is a reasonably well preserved example of a small homestead moat which retains visible evidence of buildings and other structures on the island. In addition, organic and environmental remains will survive in the waterlogged areas of the moat. The adjacent headland is the only visible surviving evidence of a once extensive open-field system and preserves valuable evidence of the latter's association with the moat and the medieval village. The monument is also of interest for the evidence it provides concerning the development of the medieval manor through its relationship with the earlier motte and bailey castle at Castle Hill and the later post-medieval manor house at Hall Farm, Holmesfield.


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


The monument is a moated site comprising a roughly square island surrounded by a 2m deep moat with an average width of c.12m. The island measures c.40m along each side and includes a large rectangular building platform at its north corner in addition to a bank which extends round the edge of the island. It is best preserved round the west corner where it is c.1m high. This bank marks the site of a wall or palisade. Near the south corner, crossing the moat from the south-west, is the remains of a 6m wide causeway onto the island. A similar but much wider feature on the north-west side of the moat is believed to be modern infill. Inflow and outflow channels connect the east and north corners of the moat to the adjacent stream, but are now partially filled in due to modern recutting of the stream. A low bank follows the outer edge of the moat on the south-east side and a second, more substantial bank is set 5m from the edge on the north-west side. The latter is a headland and marks the limit of medieval ploughing carried out in the strip field north of the moat.

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: 23298

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
The Victoria History of the County of Derby: Volume I, (1905), 389

End of official listing