Post medieval formal garden remains and medieval enclosures, Manor Farm


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1016043

Date first listed: 10-Apr-1964

Date of most recent amendment: 24-Sep-1997


Ordnance survey map of Post medieval formal garden remains and medieval enclosures, Manor Farm
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Lincolnshire

District: North Kesteven (District Authority)

Parish: Threekingham

National Grid Reference: TF 08667 36227


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

Reasons for Designation

The creation of gardens has a long history in England, the earliest examples known being associated with Roman villas. However, a major development in gardening took place in the late medieval and early post-medieval periods when the idea of the garden as a `pleasure ground' for both the spirit and the senses developed. These gardens take a variety of forms. Some involved substantial water-management works to create elaborate water features, which could include a series of ponds and even ornamental canal systems. At some sites flower gardens took the form of elaborately shaped and geometrically laid out beds. In post-medieval gardens, planting arrangements were often complemented by urns, statues and other garden furniture. Such sites were often provided with raised walkways or prospect mounds (`mounts'), which offered vantage points from which the garden design and layout could be fully appreciated. The design of post-medieval formal gardens often mirrors elements of the design of the associated house, particularly following the symmetry of the buildings. Whilst carefully planned gardens were an important feature of high status country houses from the 16th century onwards, the continued occupation of these houses and the re-modelling of their gardens in response to changing fashions means that early remains rarely survive undisturbed. Gardens provide a valuable insight into contemporary political and philosophical ideas as well as into the economic and technological influences which enabled the landscape to be modified in certain particular ways. From the late 18th century, `informal' landscape gardens began to replace earlier formal gardens. In view of their rarity, great variety of form, and importance for understanding high status houses and their occupants, all surviving examples of early date will be identified as being nationally important.

The remains of the post-medieval formal gardens and medieval enclosures at Manor Farm survive particularly well in the form of a series of substantial earthworks. The site has remained largely under pasture and has never been excavated with the result that preservation of buried deposits will be good. In addition the waterlogged nature of the area immediately south of the mound suggests a high potential for the survival of organic remains. As a result of the survival of historical documentation relating to the site, the remains are quite well understood and provide a good opportunity for understanding the development and adaptation of a medieval landscape in the post-medieval era.


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


The monument includes the remains of post-medieval garden features and enclosures associated with the site of the West Hall in the village of Threekingham. These features directly overlie a system of medieval enclosures including traces of ridge and furrow cultivation.

The monument is located in a field immediately to the west of Manor Farm. The remains take the form of a group of earthworks located around an artificial mound situated in the north west of the field. The mound is approximately 2.5m high and 12m in diameter and has a ditch with an external bank to the east, whilst an area of low-lying boggy ground immediately to the west is also considered to represent the remains of a ditch on this side. This mound is interpreted as a prospect mound or `mount', an ornamental garden feature of post-medieval date designed to overlook the formal gardens around the West Hall. The ditch is thought to represent the remains of water features designed to enhance the mound's visual impact.

Abutting the bank to the east of the mound is a roughly rectangular raised and levelled platform of 0.9ha which extends eastwards for c.125m almost to the field boundary alongside the road. The eastern edge of the platform is defined by a ditch which gradually reduces in profile as it follows the sweep of the curved north eastern corner. The platform is considered to represent the remains of the main garden enclosure.

To the north of the mound is a second less clearly defined area of raised ground of approximately 0.5ha which is almost triangular in plan. On its western side the platform overlies an earlier medieval field system which survives in the north western corner of the field as ridge and furrow. Running south from the mound on a north-south axis for a distance of over 135m is a causeway bank approximately 1m high and 5m in width which is interpreted as a raised path or walkway associated with the formal gardens. Projecting at right angles from the eastern side of the causeway are a series of low banks which form at least one sub-rectangular enclosure. This enclosure is considered to represent the remains of a smaller, separate garden feature in the nature of a walled garden or an animal stockade.

A map of 1769 records the name of the field in which the monument is situated as Mount Close, the term `mount' being widely used in the 18th century in reference to prospect mounds. The earliest description of the mound as a beacon appears to date to the end of the 19th century, suggesting that this was not its original function. An estate map showing the lands of William Fisher dated to the late 17th or early 18th centuries suggests that the original West Hall was situated to the west of the present Manor Farm house - a Listed Building of mid-18th century origins which lies outside the area of protection.

All fences 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.


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

Legacy System number: 30207

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Healey, H, Earthworks at Threekingham, Lincolnshire, (1995)
Moore, J, Plan of William Fisher's Estates
Cragg, W A, 'Lincs. Architectural and Archaeological Soc. Report' in Threekingham Tumuli, , Vol. Vol 3, (1945)
EH SAM/CNSR Long External Report: Threekingham Beacon,
Title: Plan of Stow and Threekingham Source Date: 1769 Author: Publisher: Surveyor:

End of official listing