Moated site 450m south east of Overwater Hall


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1013387

Date first listed: 25-May-1962

Date of most recent amendment: 04-Aug-1995


Ordnance survey map of Moated site 450m south east of Overwater Hall
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Cumbria

District: Allerdale (District Authority)

Parish: Ireby and Uldale

National Park: LAKE DISTRICT

National Grid Reference: NY 24757 34464

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 moated site 450m south east of Overwater Hall survives reasonably well, its earthworks in particular remaining well preserved. It is unencumbered by modern development and will retain evidence for the building which would have originally occupied the island.


The monument includes a medieval moated site located in a valley bottom 450m south east of Overwater Hall. It includes a sub-rectangular island surrounded by a dry moat that is flanked on all sides by an outer bank. The island measures between 86m-90m north-south by 66m-74m east-west and contains an inner bank on its east and west sides; this bank measures 2m wide by 0.3m high on the island's west side, but along the east side it only exists as a faint earthwork other than a short length at the south east corner where it measures up to 6m wide and 1.3m high. The island is surrounded by a dry moat 2.5m-6m wide and up to 1.2m deep which was fed by an inlet channel, now dry, at the south east corner. Traces of two outlet channels, both now dry, exist at the north west and north east corners. Flanking the moat on the east and west sides is an outer bank 4m-5m wide and up to 1.3m high. There is a break in the outer bank on the east side of the moat a little to the north of centre which indicates the site of an entrance where a bridge would have originally been located. An outer bank also exists on the south side but is a much less substantial feature, being 3m wide and 0.2m high. On the north side of the moat aerial photographs show faint traces of an outer bank which has subsequently been largely removed or quarried away leaving a rectangular hollow at the north east corner and an L shaped bank at the north west corner.

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: 23796

Legacy System: RSM


AM 107. FMW Report, Crow, J, Camp SE of Whitefield House, (1988)
Darvill, T., MPP Single Monument Class Description - Moats, (1988)
In Cumbria SMR 885, Camp SE of Whitefield House,
In Cumbria SMR 885, Camp SE of Whitefield House,
SMR no. 885, Cumbria SMR, Camp SE of Whitefield House, (1987)

End of official listing