Moated manorial complex immediately north west of Elm Tree Farm


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1016920

Date first listed: 21-Jan-1999


Ordnance survey map of Moated manorial complex immediately north west of Elm Tree Farm
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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: Heapham

National Grid Reference: SK 88099 88913


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.

The moated manorial complex immediately north west of Elm Tree Farm survives well as a series of earthworks and buried deposits. Waterlogging in the moat and boundary ditches will preserve organic remains (such as timber, leather and seeds) which will give an insight into domestic and economic activity on the site. In addition the banks round the moat and ditches will preserve evidence of the land use prior to their construction.

As one of two foci of settlement, overlying earlier medieval fields, the complex will preserve valuable evidence of the way in which the components of the medieval landscape developed and interrelated. Archaeological survey and documentary research has increased our understanding of the complex.


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


The monument includes a medieval manorial complex immediately north west of Elm Tree Farm. The complex, lying to the north east of the village church, represents one of two foci of settlement at Heapham. In 1086 Count Alan held land at Heapham as part of his manor of Lea; during the 15th and 16th century this holding thought to have been associated with the moated site, was linked with the manor of North Ingleby. The visible remains of the complex include a moated platform, or island, with a series of earthwork features, including ditched enclosures and remains of medieval ridge and furrow cultivation covering an area measuring approximately 310m by 240m.

The moated island takes the form of a roughly square platform, measuring 24m across, completely enclosed by a water-filled moat, 8m to 12m wide. The surface of the island is slightly uneven, being raised in places above the general ground level, with a mound at the north west corner. Stone fragments identified at the northern edge of the island, indicate that the remains of structures survive on the island.

The moat is linked to the surrounding ditched enclosures via a series of channels, which also formerly supplied water to the moat. An outlet from the moat was provided on the western moat arm where a channel, or leat, interrupts an external bank, to take water toward a ditch, at the western edge of the complex. The western end of this channel is water-filled and now forms a pond.

Ditched enclosures lie on all sides of the moat. The plots are aligned east - west and are generally subrectangular in plan, varying in size between 140m and 150m in length and 40m and 25m in width. To the north of the ditched enclosures there is a wide boundary ditch, which is now partly water-filled and forms a pond. At its eastern end this ditch links into a narrower channel which leads to the south to join the moat at its north eastern corner, from where a ditch and bank continues to the east. These channels form part of the system of water management and are thought to represent the original northern limits of the manorial complex, within which service buildings, paddocks, and gardens associated with the manor house would have been located.

An area of broad ridge and furrow lies to the north and east of the manorial complex. The ridge and furrow to the north of the complex has been shortened by the construction of the boundary ditch indicating that the complex was established over fields of earlier medieval date.

All fences and water troughs 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: 31612

Legacy System: RSM


Lidgett, Mr , (1998)
RCHM(E), Everson, P L and Taylor C C and Dunn, C J, Change And Continuity: Rural Settlement in North-West Lincolnshire, (1991)
Title: Heapham Tithe Award Source Date: 1776 Author: Publisher: Surveyor:

End of official listing