Moat Hill moated site


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1011920

Date first listed: 20-Dec-1977

Date of most recent amendment: 21-Mar-1991


Ordnance survey map of Moat Hill moated site
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: Doncaster (Metropolitan Authority)

Parish: Fenwick

National Grid Reference: SE 58161 15073


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 or, in some cases, which were used for horticulture. The majority of moated sites served as prestigious aristocratic and seigniorial 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. Moat Hill, Fenwick is a good example of a small moated site with an attached fishpond. Although the moat is no longer water-logged, and therefore unlikely to retain much surviving organic material, the central island is undisturbed and will retain evidence of the buildings that were originally located there.


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


The monument is an irregular quadrilateral in plan with a slightly raised island measuring c.40m along the south and west and c.50m along the north and east. A moat c.5m wide surrounds it and is crossed by a causeway on the east side. The moat is dry now and there is no indication of how it was formerly fed, therefore it is thought to have been reliant on the natural water table which has since lowered. An arm projecting from the north-west corner is still slightly marshy and is interpreted as the remains of a fishpond. Only on the west side, where the moat has been recut and laid with a hedge, is there any obvious disturbance to the site, though it is possible that slight depressions running north-south across the island are the remains of former ridge and furrow cultivation, as plough ridges can be seen east of the site. The island now displays no obvious sign of building foundations, but stone wall footings have been seen on it in the past and, more recently, limestone blocks were observed in the west arm of the moat. Though the historical context of the monument is not known, according to local tradition it was a Templar site.

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: 13221

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Le Patourel, H E J, Moated site of Yorkshire, (1973)
Magilton, J, The Doncaster District, (1977)

End of official listing