Hallsteads moated site, Grimethorpe


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:


Ordnance survey map of Hallsteads moated site, Grimethorpe
© 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.

Barnsley (Metropolitan Authority)
National Grid Reference:
SE 42162 09394

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.

Hallsteads is an important and unusual example of its class and possesses a particularly fine set of associated fishponds. In addition, although being damaged by ploughing, building and wall foundations survive on the island and organic material will be preserved in the waterlogged areas of the moat.


Hallsteads is an unusual site consisting of a flat-topped rise between two narrow valleys. A dam built to the west of the rise, across the confluence of the valleys, has created a moat to north and south while a bank and ditch encloses the site to the east. Within the enclosure, c.120m across, the hillside has been scarped to provide a roughly circular inner enclosure. In the past this carried a stone wall, the remains of which have been located during ploughing and stone from which litters the northern arm of the moat. Writing in 1831, Hunter states "there were lately those who remembered walls of four or five feet in height, and as much in thickness" indicating that a substantial stone-built building once inhabited the summit. In addition, running eastward off the north arm of the moat for c.150m is a line of three or four linear fishponds, divided by dams and created by embanking the natural stream line. All modern features within the constraint area, including hedging, fencing and a disconnected telegraph pole, are excluded from the scheduling although the ground beneath 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:
Legacy System:


Books and journals
Hunter, J, South Yorkshire , (1831)
Watson, M R, Harrison, M, Brereley - A History of Brearley, (1976)


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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