Hermit Dam moated site


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1016110

Date first listed: 16-Jan-1970

Date of most recent amendment: 07-Aug-1997


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

County: Lincolnshire

District: West Lindsey (District Authority)

Parish: Lea

National Grid Reference: SK 84292 87140

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.

Hermit Dam moated site survives particularly well as a series of substantial earthworks and buried features, with a good diversity of surviving components. The moat, external bank and causeway are clearly defined and the platform will retain evidence for the building which originally occupied the island. As a result of the study of surviving documents the history of this site is quite well understood.


The monument includes a moated site located at the bottom of a natural basin to the north east of Hermit Dam Wood. The site has been identified as the manorial residence of the Trehampton and de Braose lords of Lea who held the manor from the 12th to the 14th century.

The moated site takes the form of a roughly square platform surrounded on all sides by a dry moat approximately 10m wide and 3m at its deepest. The island measures 90m east-west and 95m north-south and includes a slightly raised platform which has been largely levelled at its centre. The remains of the manor house and associated outbuildings are believed to survive as buried features on the interior of the moated enclosure. An external bank surrounds the moat and is most clearly visible on the eastern edge where it stands to a height of approximately 1.5m. To the north the bank is set back slightly from the ditch and exists as a broad spread 0.25m high. To the west the modern trackway leading to Priory Farm lies directly over the outer bank. To the south it has been badly degraded through ploughing. A causeway in the north east corner, measuring approximately 8m wide, provides access to the platform.

The manor of Lea was held by the Trehampton family from the 12th to the 14th century, and possibly from the Norman Conquest. In 1322 John de Trehampton forfeited the manor and it was granted to William de Aune, the king's constable of Tickhill Castle. It was returned to the family by Edward III, when it was inhabited by John de Braose, the husband of John de Trehampton's sister. In 1330 John de Braose received license to crenellate the manor. It is unlikely that it was used as a principal residence beyond the 14th century.

The modern fencing and trackway surfacing is excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath 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: 29894

Legacy System: RSM


Darvill, T., MPP Single Monument Class Description - Moats, (1988)
RCHM(E), Everson, P L and Taylor C C and Dunn, C J, Change And Continuity: Rural Settlement in North-West Lincolnshire, (1991)

End of official listing