Moat Hall moated site and site of external ancillary buildings, Braithwell


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
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Ordnance survey map of Moat Hall moated site and site of external ancillary buildings, Braithwell
© 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)
National Grid Reference:
SK 53434 94349

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.

Moat Hall, Braithwell is an important example of a moated site containing in situ foundations of medieval buildings and with ancillary buildings close by. Indeed it is the best-preserved medieval grange site in the county. In addition, organic material will have survived in the waterlogged areas of the moat.


The monument comprises a rectangular island measuring c.30m by c.45m surrounded by a 10m wide moat, filled in to the south and east but still waterfilled to the west and north-west. The moat was fed from the south by a now filled-in channel leading from a tributary of Ruddle Dike. A depression shows the position of the south arm of the moat, which is still inclined to marshiness at its western end. In the centre of the island are the ruins of a group of sixteenth century cottages, demolished in the 1940s and found to contain parts of earlier buildings. These included an in situ 13th century archway and the remains of "Moat Hall", a 15th century timber-framed grange of Lewes Priory leased to John Vincent of Braithwell in 1427 and known as "Le Priorie". Associated buildings stood outside the moated area and included a tithe barn demolished early this century. The present house is reputed to have been the dovecote and at least two other barns are referred to in the Lewes Cartulary. The modern buildings, fencing, paths, walls, concrete yard surface and driveway are excluded from the scheduling. However, the ground underneath is included.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number:
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Books and journals
Clay, C T, The Yorkshire Portion Of The Lewes Chartulary, (1933)
Greene, D, The Moat Hall, Braithwell, (1942)
Le Patourel, H E J, Moated site of Yorkshire, (1973)
Magilton, J, The Doncaster District, (1977)
'Doncaster Gazette' in Doncaster Gazette, (1932)


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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