Sharrow Hall moated site and associated road, driveway, dovecote, enclosures and ridge and furrow


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1014590

Date first listed: 13-May-1996


Ordnance survey map of Sharrow Hall moated site and associated road, driveway, dovecote, enclosures and ridge and furrow
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Derbyshire

District: South Derbyshire (District Authority)

Parish: Osleston and Thurvaston

National Grid Reference: SK 23612 36952


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.

Sharrow Hall is a very well preserved example of a moated site which continued to be occupied into the 17th century. It has suffered only minimal disturbance since it was abandoned and will retain buried remains relating to all periods of occupation, including those of one or more moated houses. The importance of the moated site is enhanced by its association with a wide variety of ancillary features which appear to date to more than one phase of occupation. The survival of Chapel Lane is also of interest and the existence of documentary evidence relating to the site adds to its importance.


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


The monument is the site of a 12th to 17th century moated house called Sharrow Hall, and includes the moated site together with a complex of earthworks representing the remains of enclosures, a sample of ridge and furrow, a dovecote and a road and driveway. Further ridge and furrow and traces of the road also survive beyond the monument but have not been included in the scheduling. The moated site consists of a roughly rectangular platform measuring about 50m by 20m, enclosed by a moat or ditch with an average width of 8m and a current depth of c.0.75m. Set approximately 5m in from the east end of the platform is a depression measuring roughly 5m by 10m which may indicate the site of a cellar. A channel links the north west corner of the moat with the stream to the west. Because of the level of the site it is unlikely that the moat was ever waterfilled. Instead, together with the channel, it would have been used to drain the site. Excavation at the west end of the moat by the Derbyshire Archaeological Society in the early 1980s revealed roof tile and pottery dating from the 12th to the 17th centuries. This indicates a long period of occupation. Earthworks confirm that a wide range of ancillary features existed round the moated site. They include a rectangular platform, flanking the drainage channel noted above, measuring approximately 25m wide by 40m long by 1m high, which is interpreted as the site of a range of buildings whose outer walls survive as low linear earthworks with gaps marking the location of doorways. In addition, south of the moated site, is a slightly sunken enclosure with a roughly 20cm square building platform inside its south west corner. This enclosure measures approximately 40m square and is bounded on all but the south side by a prominent bank measuring up to 5m wide and 2m high. This bank is interpreted as the remains of a wall and suggests that the enclosure was either a walled courtyard or, alternatively, a garden. The wall divides the enclosure from the moated site and also continued up the west side of the moat. South of this enclosure is a linear sunken feature measuring approximately 140m long by 15m wide by 1.5m deep. In the past, this feature has been interpreted as a fishpond because it lies on a former stream line. However, though it may have originated as one or a number of ponds, in its present form it appears to have been a driveway providing access to the enclosure south of the moat by linking up with a lane which, until about 50 years ago, passed north to south through the east side of the moated site. This lane, known as Chapel Lane but referred to locally as the Coach Road, currently survives as a flat-bottomed linear depression varying between 8m and 18m wide. A circular mound at the junction of the lane and driveway may represent a turning circle for carriages. The lane can also be traced in fields north of the moated site. Another circular earthwork, comprising a low 9m wide mound surrounded by a wall-trench, occurs north of the driveway, west of the enclosure. Its dimensions and shape indicate that it may be the remains of a dovecote which is known to have existed in the early 17th century, having been referred to in a letter dated 31 May 1603. Other features surrounding the moated site include a number of banked and ditched enclosures which will have served a variety of purposes. These may have included pleasure gardens as well as kitchen gardens and paddocks. In addition, both the field south of the driveway and the enclosures west and north east of the moated site all retain faint but distinct traces of ridge and furrow, the earthworks left by medieval and post- medieval ploughing. Although the finds made by the Derbyshire Archaeological Society indicate a 12th century origin for the moated site, little is known about its early history except that it was occupied by the Pipard family. In the mid-15th century it was leased or otherwise held from the Pipards by John Peche (Peachy). During the 16th century it was acquired by William Twyford, who became known as `of Sharrow Hall', and subsequently passed to the Gregson family through the marriage of William's sole heir Anne to Thomas Gregson. In 1603, in the letter mentioned above, Francis Coke of Trusley tells John Coke that `There is on it a very pretty house and a dovecote...'. At this time, Sharrow Hall was to let and may have been in disrepair since, in a will dated 1604, Alice Gregson left the ceiling of the parlour and the glass in the windows to her son, Henry. The final record of the hall seems to be in a conveyance of land dated 2 June 1640 in which it is listed with several other properties. Reused timbers in present day Sharrow Hall Farm are thought to have originated from the moated hall. Excluded are all modern gates and fences, although 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: 27226

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Craven, M, Stanley, M, The Derbyshire Country House, (1982), 89
Copy on EH file, Derbyshire Archaeological Society, The Moated Site of Sharrow Hall, (1980)
Copy on EH file, Derbyshire Archaeological Society, The Moated Site of Sharrow Hall, (1986)
Copy on EH file, Farnsworth, Don, Letter dated 10/08/1995, (1995)
Copy on EH file, Farnsworth, Don, Letter dated 10/08/95, (1995)
Copy on EH file, Shackleton Hill, A, The Moated Site of Sharrow Hall, (1993)
In Derby Museum c/o Richard Langley, Pottery from Sharrow Hall moated site,
Letter on EH file, Farnsworth, Don, Letter dated 10/08/95, (1995)
Photocopy on EH file, Cambridge University, Oblique of Sharrow Hall moated site, (1970)
Photocopy on EH file, County Council Survey No. 13/383, Vertical of Sharrow Hall moated site, (1971)
Photocopy on EH file, County Council Survey No. 13/383, Vertical of Sharrow Hall moated site, (1971)

End of official listing