Manorial earthworks and fishponds in Rise Park, including the site of Black Hall and Mote Hill


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1015919

Date first listed: 14-Mar-1997


Ordnance survey map of Manorial earthworks and fishponds in Rise Park, including the site of Black Hall and Mote Hill
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: East Riding of Yorkshire (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Rise

National Grid Reference: TA 14718 41724


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

Reasons for Designation

Medieval manorial settlements, comprising small groups of houses with associated gardens, yards and paddocks, supported communities devoted primarily to agriculture, and acted as the foci for manorial administration. Although the sites of many of these settlements have been occupied continuously down to the present day, many others declined in size or were abandoned at some time during the medieval and post-medieval periods, particularly during the 14th and 15th centuries. The reasons for desertion were varied but often reflected declining economic viability, changes in land- use such as enclosure or emparkment, or population fluctuations as a result of widespread epidemics such as the Black Death. As a consequence of their abandonment, these settlements are frequently undisturbed by later occupation and contain well-preserved archaeological deposits, providing information on the diversity of medieval settlement patterns and farming economy, and on the structure and changing fortunes of manorial communities.

Manorial centres were an important foci of medieval rural life. They served as prestigious aristocractic or seignorial residences, the importance of their inhabitants being reflected in the quality and elaboration of their buildings. Local agricultural and village life was normally closely regulated by the lord of the manor, and hence the inhabitants of these sites had a controlling interest in many aspects of medieval life. Manorial sites could take on many forms. In many areas of the country the buildings were located within a moat, the latter being intended to impress further the status of the site on the wider population. Other manors, like `Risvn', were not moated, their status being indicated largely by the quality of their buildings. This latter group of manorial centres are the most difficult to identify today because the sites were not enclosed by major earthwork features, such as a moat, which may survive well, and the original buildings often exhibited a fairly unplanned layout which could extend over a large area. Continued use of the site has also in many instances led to the destruction of medieval remains. Hence examples of medieval manorial centres of this type which can be positively identified and demonstrated to have extensive surviving archaeological remains are relatively rare. The surviving earthwork remains of Blackhall, the fishponds and other related earthworks indicate a manorial complex of large size and some importance. There is little evidence of post-medieval disturbance, and the archaeological deposits will therefore survive in good condition, and be able to yield further information on this form of medieval rural settlement in the East Riding of Yorkshire.


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


The monument includes earthwork remains of the manorial complex of Rise with associated fishponds and the site of Black Hall and Mote Hill. Black Hall was the seat of the Faulconbergs, who held the manor of Rise from the time of the Norman Conquest for nearly 400 years. The manor and associated medieval settlement of Rise or `Risvn' is mentioned in the Domesday Survey, and was originally larger than it is today. Crop marks seen from aerial photographs indicate the original settlement to have been extensive, stretching as far as North Farm, north east of present day Rise, down to the southern limits of the earthwork remains around Blackhall Hill and Mote Hill described here. The earthwork remains of the shrunken medieval village of Rise are separated from the manorial earthworks by the post-medieval buildings and park of Rise Hall. The monument includes what are interpreted as building platforms, fishponds, water management channels, fields and related earthworks located in the north western corner of Rise Park, north of Rise Wood, an area defined by the road which leads from Sigglesthorpe in the north to North Skirlaugh in the south, which makes a right angled `dog leg' around the earthworks. A pronounced bank with exterior ditch surrounds the complex on the western and northern side. On the western side the bank is c.200m long with a break towards its southern end. Along the north side of the site, the bank is 50m long. The exterior ditch is `U' shaped in profile and about 1.5m in depth, 10m wide at its top and 2m wide at its base. The bank is between 5m and 8m wide and between 1m and 1.5m high and is interpreted as forming an original boundary feature of Black Hall, with the deep ditch to its north and west acting as a conduit for the drainage of water away from the manorial earthworks. The configuration of the earthwork features of the site indicates that the manorial complex here took advantage of the natural topography of the land, with the buildings being located on higher ground at the north and east side of the monument, with water management ditches and drainage features running through the centre and draining to the west. The site of Black Hall is a rectangular flat-topped scarped hillock, around 30m square, situated in the north eastern corner of the park. No remains of a building survive above ground, although building debris of brick and tile has been found here and further remains will survive beneath the present ground surface. The fishponds and other water management channels lie some 50m to the south of the site of the manor, at the southern edge of the higher ground, and surround another platform area of about 30m square. Three oval ponds orientated approximately north-south lie to the east of the platform, the first measuring some 30m long by 5m wide, the second 20m by 8m and the third 15m long by 7m wide. Another pond lies parallel to these but to the west of the platform and is 20m long by 7m wide, and also orientated in the same direction, approximately north-south. An elongated depression to the north of the platform here, 25m long by 5m wide and orientated north-south, is also interpreted as being part of the fishpond and water management complex in this area. A long ditch, 130m long by 10m wide runs due north-south to link with the ponds at the eastern side of the earthwork complex and is also interpreted as a water management feature. Mote Hill is also included in the earthwork complex. It lies at the western side of the monument close to the modern road. It includes a flat topped and steeply scarped natural hillock measuring about 40m north-south by 26m east- west and is up to 3m in height. It is thought to be a `moot', or meeting place, rather than an actual motte as it was once believed to be, although other reports mention it as being the site of a former hunting lodge. Other earthwork features include a raised platform area, interpreted as an embanked, raised field, some 115m square and about 1m high to the south west of the complex, defined in the north by an east-west scarp and to the east by a north-south bank up to 6m wide. There are other earthwork remains of banks and ditches included in the monument, which are interpreted as trackways, lynchets and water management features designed to drain water away from the central low-lying parts of the site. Modern post and wire fencing, and gates, telegraph poles, animal feed and water dispensers are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath them is included.

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: 26604

Legacy System: RSM


BNR91, Dennison, E and Hemblade, M, Sites and Monuments Record Sheet Plan, (1990)
BNR91, Dennison, E and Hemblade, M, Sites and Monuments Record Sheet Plan, (1990)
Colour print ref 27/07/88, Dent, John, (1988)
Humberside SMR, Sites and Monuments Record Sheet, (1996)

End of official listing