The Hermitage moated site, 400m north east of Corby Pasture Farm


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


Ordnance survey map of The Hermitage moated site, 400m north east of Corby Pasture Farm
© Crown Copyright and database right 2019. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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This copy shows the entry on 21-Oct-2019 at 16:14:09.


The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

South Kesteven (District Authority)
Corby Glen
South Kesteven (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:
TF 01093 26466

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 medieval moated site known as The Hermitage survives well as a series of earthworks and buried deposits. Waterlogging in the moat and pond will preserve organic remains, such as timber, leather and seeds, which will give an insight into the domestic and economic activity on the site. The artificially raised banks will preserve evidence of the land use prior to their construction. Archaeological deposits on the island will include the buried remains of medieval buildings, possibly relating to a hermitage, which will tell us how the site was used during the Middle Ages and after.


The monument includes the medieval moated site, known as The Hermitage, located adjacent to Old Park Wood. Following the Norman Conquest Irnham was held by Robert Pagenell and remained in his family until 1220 when it passed by marriage to the Luttrells. During the 15th century Irnham passed to the Hiltons and then to the Thimbleby family, who were recusants after the Reformation. Irnham continued to be a centre of Catholicism until the 19th century. There are no known references to a hermitage at Irnham in the medieval period. The present placename may therefore date from later reuse of the site as a garden feature.

The monument takes the form of a moated island with external banks, and an adjoining embanked enclosure situated adjacent to a south-flowing stream. The island is rectangular in plan measuring 30m by 20m and is enclosed by a broad water-filled moat up to 14m in width. External banks measuring up to 6m in width and standing up to 1m in height line each moat arm. Water was formerly supplied to the moat from the adjacent stream; a channel at the northern corner of the moat provided a water inlet while an outlet, to return water to the stream, is situated at the eastern corner of the moat.

At the southern corner of the moat an embanked channel curves westward from the moat and feeds into a roughly circular pond adjacent to the external bank of the south western moat arm. The pond, which still retains water, measures 9m by 8m and is thought to represent a fishpond. The pond lies within a rectangular enclosure, measuring 80m in length, which adjoins the south western side of the moat; it is bounded by a broad bank to the north west and a low narrow bank to the south east and south west.

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:
Legacy System:


Books and journals
Leach, T R, Lincolnshire country houses and their families, Part 1, (1990), 51-56
Li 30065, (1997)
Lincolnshire SMR, Li 30065, (1997)
NMR, 348400, (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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