Moated site east of Newton Reigny


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1012816

Date first listed: 30-Dec-1952

Date of most recent amendment: 22-Jun-1995


Ordnance survey map of Moated site east of Newton Reigny
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Cumbria

District: Eden (District Authority)

Parish: Catterlen

National Grid Reference: NY 48140 31590

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.

Despite infilling of part of the moat's northern arm, the moated site east of Newton Reigny survives reasonably well and remains largely unencumbered by modern development. Limited excavation by Anderson during the 1960's located structural remains, and the monument will retain further evidence for the building which originally occupied the island.


The monument includes a medieval moated site located in fields a short distance to the east of Newton Reigny. It includes an island or enclosure surrounded by a shallow moat which is now largely dry apart from one side where a small stream forms its eastern arm. The island is trapezoidal in shape and measures between 150m-170m north-south by 74m-90m east-west. On the southern and much of its eastern edge there is an inner bank measuring up to 6m wide and 1m high. The surrounding moat varies in size, measuring between 1.5m wide and 0.2m deep on the south and much of the west sides to 7m wide and 0.3m deep on the north side. Access onto the island is through an entrance on the western side where there are faint traces of a causeway across the moat. Limited excavation by Anderson during the 1960's located a flagged floor and a cobble-lined posthole which the excavator interpreted as evidence of the `hall' which would have occupied the island. All gateposts, walls and fences are excluded from the scheduling but the ground beneath them 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: 23778

Legacy System: RSM


AP Ref No. MU CS 97,20, AP Ref No. MU CS 97,20,
Darvill, T., MPP Single Monument Class Description - Moats, (1988)
FMW Report, Crow, J, Earthwork E of Newton Reigny, (1991)
Ref No SMR 2924, Cumbria SMR, Monument Evaluation Form Single Monument Discrimination - Moats, (1991)

End of official listing