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Moated site of Loweswater Pele

List Entry Summary

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.

Name: Moated site of Loweswater Pele

List entry Number: 1013503


The monument may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Cumbria

District: Allerdale

District Type: District Authority

Parish: Buttermere

County: Cumbria

District: Allerdale

District Type: District Authority

Parish: Loweswater

National Park: LAKE DISTRICT

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 18-Oct-1995

Date of most recent amendment: Not applicable to this List entry.

Legacy System Information

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

Legacy System: RSM

UID: 27660

Asset Groupings

This list entry does not comprise part of an Asset Grouping. Asset Groupings are not part of the official record but are added later for information.

List entry Description

Summary of Monument

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

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 of Loweswater Peel is an unusual example of this class of monument. A natural feature - in this case a low hillock protruding into the lake - was modified by the cutting of ditches on its landward side, to create a moated site. The effort required was minimal but the result strikingly effective. The hillock will contain evidence of the medieval structure known to have existed here in the 12th century.


Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.


The monument includes the site of a medieval moated manor house known as Loweswater Pele, thought to be the home of Ranulphe de Lindesaye and his wife who were connected with Loweswater during the mid-12th century. It is situated on the western shore of Crummock Water on a rounded natural hillock which forms a peninsula of firm ground jutting into the lake. This peninsula is defended on the landward side by a system of banks and ditches; the ditches remain predominantly waterlogged. These earthworks are best preserved at the southern end where they comprise two ditches, or moats; the inner measures 11.5m wide the outer measures 6m wide. These are separated by an earthen bank 3.5m wide and up to 1.5m high. In addition there is a short length of outer bank approximately 60m long measuring 6m wide and up to 1.5m wide. The inner bank and moat continue northwards along the base of the hillock for approximately 170m with the bank itself gradually reducing in height and width before fading out altogether. The northern part of the hillock is defended by marshy ground within which no earthworks can now be seen. The manor house is thought to have been located on the lake side where there are the rectangular foundations of a hollow measuring 26m by 12m which has been interpreted as the cellar of a building. The Ordnance Survey maps, however, locate a `peel' some 120m further west on the opposite side of the hillock where a ruined farmbuilding considered to be a successor to the earlier structure now stands. Adjoining this ruin are a number of other ruined structures and terraces cut into the hillslope which are interpreted as the site of outbuildings associated with the ruined farm. All modern field boundaries 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.

Selected Sources

Books and journals
Fair, M C, 'Trans Cumb and West Antiq and Arch Soc. New Ser.' in Loweswater Pele and Parks, , Vol. XXXVI, (1936), 126-8
Darvill, T., MPP Single Monument Class Description - Moats, (1988)
Title: Ordnance Survey Outdoor Leisure 4: The English Lakes NW Area Source Date: 1989 Author: Publisher: Surveyor:

National Grid Reference: NY 15064 20240


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The above map is for quick reference purposes only and may not be to scale. For a copy of the full scale map, please see the attached PDF - 1013503 .pdf

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This copy shows the entry on 20-Sep-2018 at 09:06:36.

End of official listing