Manor Farm moated site


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Date of most recent amendment:


Ordnance survey map of Manor Farm moated site
© Crown Copyright and database right 2019. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

East Lindsey (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:
TF 49147 67150

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 remains of Manor Farm moated site survive particularly well in the form of a series of substantial earthworks. The site has remained largely under pasture with little disturbance, with the result that the preservation of buried deposits will be good. In addition, the waterlogged nature of the southern and eastern sections of the moat will provide a high potential for the survival of organic remains. As a result of the survival of historical documentation relating to the site and archaeological survey the remains are well understood and provide a good opportunity for understanding the nature, function and adaptation of a manorial moated site.


The monument includes the remains of a medieval moated site in the village of Orby, located immediately to the east of Manor Farm. The remains take the form of a moat partly enclosing an asymmetric, curvilinear island measuring approximately 80m by 70m. On its south western, southern, eastern and northern sides the moat is up to 15m in width and about 3m in depth and has steep, well-defined sides. A counterscarp bank, which follows the eastern edge of the moat for approximately 25m, is considered to be of the same date as the moat and is comprised of spoil from the moat ditch being placed along the outer lip. The section of the moat from the north through to the north west has been partly in-filled and is visible as a less pronounced depression approximately 1m deep and 15m wide. The remaining section from the north west through to the west is considered to have been completely in-filled and levelled to provide a platform on which the present Manor Farm is built. At least three linked sub-rectangular embanked platforms approximately 0.4m high are visible on the island within the moat. The first is situated towards the western side of the island and covers an area of approximately 17m by 20m. The second platform, located slightly to the north east of the first, is approximately 11m by 10m. The third platform, approximately 20m by 12m, abuts the northern side of the moat. These suggest the presence of structures or garden features associated with the site of a medieval house located within the island. A water-filled linear depression, approximately 10m by 17m and up to 1.5m deep, situated roughly centrally on the island is thought to represent a modern feature. The presence of the moated site in close association with the parish church and the present day Manor Farm house suggests that it represents the original location of the medieval manor of Orby. Field observation in 1964 revealed that a number of conjoined rectangular ditched enclosures formerly existed immediately to the south and east of the moat; these were interpreted as the remains of manorial enclosures and crofts. Their relationship with the moated site is indicative of it being a focal point for settlement and therefore of sufficient status to represent a manorial site. All pathways and 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:
Legacy System:


Listed Building Record: TF 46 NE Orby - Manor Farmhouse, (1967)
PRO C134 File 59 (6)., (1318)
RCHME, NMR Complete Listing: TF 46 NE 11,


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.

End of official listing

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