Claxton medieval moated site


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1013947

Date first listed: 11-Oct-1989

Date of most recent amendment: 04-Oct-1995


Ordnance survey map of Claxton medieval moated site
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: Hartlepool (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Claxton

National Grid Reference: NZ 47652 27677


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.

This site is an important survival within the Lower Tees Valley. Medieval moated sites would originally have been more numerous in the area. Intensive arable agriculture, however, has led to the poor survival of most other examples. From a national perspective the importance of the site lies in this regional rarity. Of particular note are the waterlogged remains known to remain preserved within its enclosing ditches.


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


The site is an example of a moated site of medieval date. The moat encloses a main island of irregular shape and also a dependent annexe to the east. Formerly the enclosing earthworks stood to a height of over 1m in places. These however have suffered plough damage and are now virtually ploughed out. Despite this it is known that substantial remains survive intact beneath the present ground surface. The evidence of field survey and limited excavation has indicated that timber and also stone buildings were located on these enclosed platforms. Significant remains of these are considered to survive across the whole of the enclosed area. Of particular interest and importance are the waterlogged deposits containing wood, seeds, leather and other plant remains also revealed during excavations which remain preserved in the silted up moat.

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: 12601

Legacy System: RSM


Cleveland County Archaeological Unit, Re Claxton moated site,
Copied from file 8123/1 pt4, Ordnance Survey, Note to accompany rescue grant application, 1984 - NZ 42 NE 6, (1984)

End of official listing