Moated manorial complex and church site 230m south east of All Saints' Church


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


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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 13528 77756

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.

Parish churches were designed for congregational worship and are generally divided into two main parts: the nave which provides accommodation for the laity, and the chancel, which is the main domain of the priest and contains the principal altar. Either or both parts are sometimes provided with aisles, giving additional accommodation or spaces for additional altars. The main periods of parish church foundation were in the 10th to 11th and 19th centuries. Most medieval churches were rebuilt and modified on a number of occasions, and hence the fabric of the church will be of several different dates. Parish churches have always been major features of the landscape and a major focus of life for their parishioners. They provide important insights into medieval and later population levels or economic cycles, and religious activity.

The remains of the medieval moated manorial complex and associated church at Wragby survive well as a series of earthworks and buried deposits. As a result of documentary research and archaeological survey the remains are quite well understood. The artificially raised ground will preserve evidence of land use prior to the construction of the monument, while overlying deposits will contribute to an understanding of domestic and economic activity on the site throughout the medieval period. The buried remains of the church will preserve evidence for its construction and use over at least 700 years, and the churchyard will retain unique evidence for a human population extending over the same period. The association of the church and manor remains provides a rare opportunity to study the inter-relationship of important components of the medieval landscape.


The monument includes the remains of a medieval manorial complex with associated church and churchyard located 230m south east of the present All Saints' Church. In 1086 there were two manors at Wragby in the possession of Erenis of Buron and Waldin the Artificer. The surviving remains are thought to represent the manor held by Erenis of Buron which included responsibility for a church and a priest and was the centre of a substantial estate. For much of the later medieval period it was held by the de Roos family and is thought to have been abandoned by the end of the 15th century. The former parish church of All Saints, which stood adjacent to the moated site, is believed to have dated from the 12th century. The church was largely dismantled in the mid-19th century when the present All Saints' Church was built 300m to the north west.

The monument takes the form of two moated islands and associated ditched enclosures, known as `Rout Yard', together with the buried remains of the former church and churchyard. The islands lie adjacent to each other on a north-south alignment and are roughly rectangular in plan standing approximately 2m above the surrounding ground level. The northern island measures 60m by 40m, and the southern island measures 50m by 40m. The southern moat arm of the southern island is lined by an internal bank with a roughly square embanked enclosure, measuring 6m in width, at the south eastern corner of the island thought to represent a building platform. The islands are enclosed by a broad, dry moat measuring 10m to 12m in width and up to 1m in depth. An infilled section of the eastern moat arm provided a causeway onto the southern island with the remains of a hollow way running eastward from it and is thought to represent the location of an original access point. The northern moat arm and part of the eastern moat arm are lined by an external bank which terminates at the causeway.

Two ditches are linked to the north west corner of the moat. One curves round to the north east and defines the northern edge of an enclosed area on the north side of the moat with low banks indicating the eastern edge of the enclosure; low earthworks and hollows are visible within the enclosure, which is thought to represent a paddock or yard associated with the manor house. The other ditch, shown on early maps and now visible as a shallow depression, leads to the north west where it is thought to represent the remains of another enclosure. A shallow hollow leading eastward from the south east corner of the moat is thought to have provided an outlet channel.

The site of the medieval church and churchyard associated with the manorial complex lies immediately to the south east of the moated islands. The churchyard is subrectangular in plan, measuring 60m by 55m, and is enclosed by shallow ditches to the north, east, and south. At the centre of the enclosure are the buried remains of the former church of All Saints. The church measured 25m in length and 8.8m wide. Elements of the nave, north aisle, arcade, and chancel dated from the 12th and 13th centuries, with a tower dating from the 15th century and a 16th century south porch. Alterations were made during the 18th century when the chancel was rebuilt. The church was dismantled in 1836 when a new church was established closer to the modern village centre. The 18th century brick-built chancel was retained, as a cemetery chapel, until the 1980s when it too was demolished.

All fences and telegraph poles 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:


Books and journals
Morgan, P, Thorn, C, Domesday Book, (1986)
Morgan, P, Thorn, C, Lincolnshire Domesday Book, (1986)
White, A J, Everson, P, Field, F N, 'Lincolnshire History and Archaeology' in The Moated Site, Churches, And Hedgerow Survey At Wragby, , Vol. 16, (1981), 19-22
White, A J, Everson, P, Field, F N, 'Lincolnshire History and Archaeology' in The Moated Site, Churches, And Hedgerow Survey At Wragby, , Vol. 16, (1981), 19-22
White, A J, Everson, P, Field, F N, 'Lincolnshire History and Archaeology' in The Moated Site, Churches, And Hedgerow Survey At Wragby, , Vol. 16, (1981), 19-22
Lincolnshire SMR, Li 43631, (1997)
NMR, 351496, (1998)


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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