Tilts moated site


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Date of most recent amendment:


Ordnance survey map of Tilts moated site
© Crown Copyright and database right 2020. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Doncaster (Metropolitan Authority)
Thorpe in Balne
National Grid Reference:
SE 57159 09286

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 size of Tilts moated site suggests it was a medieval manor of some importance. Extensive areas of undisturbed deposits will survive under pasture on the north island, where building foundations and a paved road have already been located, and under the garden on the south island, which has only been minimally disturbed by building. In addition, being largely water-filled, the moat will contain preserved organic and palaeoenvironmental material.


Tilts moated site consists of two roughly rectangular islands divided and surrounded by a water-filled moat, varying between 10 and 15m wide. The north island measures c.100m x 50m and is joined to the southern by a narrow causeway across the central ditch. The south island measures c.75m x 40m and contains the present house, a part of which appears to be 17th century. The south arm of the moat is largely filled in and partially overlain by later buildings. Another section of filled-in moat once linked the central ditch and the west arm of the northern circuit, which itself has been recut and is now represented by a wide waterlogged ditch bordering the lane to the west. Traditionally the monument is thought to have been a monastic site but this has not been substantiated. Certainly, it is likely to have controlled the medieval manorial estate of Tilts. The remains of the earlier manor are believed to underlie the present house and work carried out on the north island in c.1986 revealed large stone blocks thought to be part of the foundations of an ancillary building. Also found was a section of paved road coming in from the north. A number of features within the area are excluded from the scheduling; these are all buildings, modern structures and features, fences and surfaces of paths and drives; the ground beneath all these features is, however, included. Also included is the ditch bordering the lane to the west, as further recutting of this will affect the deposits in this part 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:
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Books and journals
Le Patourel, H E J, Moated site of Yorkshire, (1973)
Magilton, J, The Doncaster District, (1977)


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

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