Moated site 170m north east of Brook Farm


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1016973

Date first listed: 11-Mar-1971

Date of most recent amendment: 07-Jul-1999


Ordnance survey map of Moated site 170m north east of Brook Farm
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This copy shows the entry on 23-Jan-2019 at 13:23:42.


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

County: Lincolnshire

District: East Lindsey (District Authority)

Parish: Brinkhill

National Grid Reference: TF 37407 73878


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 site 170m north east of Brook Farm survives well as a series of earthworks and buried deposits. The banks will preserve evidence of land use prior to the construction of the moat. A fishpond is an artificially created pool of slow moving fresh water constructed for the purpose of cultivating, breeding and storing fish to provide a constant and sustainable supply of food. They may be dug into the ground, embanked above ground level, or formed by placing a dam across a narrow valley. Groups of up to 12 ponds variously arranged in a single line or in a cluster and joined by leats have been recorded. The ponds may be of the same size or of several different sizes with each pond being stocked with different species or age of fish. The size of the pond was related to function with large ponds thought to have had a storage capacity whilst smaller, shallower ponds were used for fish cultivation and breeding. Fishponds were maintained by a water management system which included inlet and outlet channels carrying water from a river or stream, a series of sluices set into the bottom of the dam and along the channels and leats, and an overflow leat which controlled fluctuations in water flow and prevented flooding. Buildings for use by fishermen or for the storage of equipment, and islands possibly used for fishing, wildfowl management or as shallow spawning areas, are also recorded. The tradition of constructing and using fishponds in England began during the medieval period and peaked in the 12th century. They were largely built by the wealthy sectors of society with monastic institutions and royal residences often having large and complex fishponds. The difficulties of obtaining fresh meat in the winter and the value placed on fish in terms of its protein content and as a status food may have been factors which favoured the development of fishponds and which made them so valuable. The practice of constructing fishponds declined after the Dissolution of the Monasteries in the 16th century. More fishponds fell out of use during the post-medieval period, although some were re-used as ornamental features in 19th and early 20th century landscape parks or gardens, or as watercress beds. Documentary sources provide a wealth of information about the way fishponds were stocked and managed. The main species of fish kept were eel, tench, pickerel, bream, perch and roach. Once a year probably in the spring, ponds were drained and cleared. Fishponds are widely scattered throughout England but the majority are found in central, eastern and southern parts and in areas with heavy clay soils. Fewer fishponds are found in coastal areas and parts of the country rich in natural lakes and streams where other sources of fresh fish were available. Although 17th century manuals suggest that areas of waste ground were suitable for fishponds, in practice it appears that most fishponds were located close to villages, manors and monasteries or in parks so that a close watch could be kept on them to prevent poaching. Although approximately 2000 examples are recorded nationally, this is thought to be a small proportion of those in existence in medieval times. Despite being relatively common, fishponds are important for their association with other classes of medieval monument and in providing evidence of site economy. The associated remains of a fishpond 170m north east of Brook Farm will preserve additional evidence relating to economic activity on the site. As one of a group of moated sites in a small area it contributes to an understanding of the inter-relationship of contemporary components of the medieval landscape.


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


The monument includes a medieval moated site, fishpond and associated water supply features 170m north east of Brook Farm. In 1086 the land at Brinkhill was held by Earl Hugh as part of the land of Greetham. The monument is one of three moated sites lying witin a 400m radius in the village of Brinkhill, each of which is the subject of separate schedulings.

The moat island is roughly `L'-shaped in plan measuring 80m by 40m and is surrounded by a broad moat, now dry, measuring 10m to 12m in width and up to 2m deep. The moat is lined by external banks on the north eastern and south eastern sides. At the eastern corner of the moat the external bank is interrupted by two shallow channels. One channel leads to the east, the other to the north, where it is in turn connected to a channel about 4m wide which runs parallel to the north eastern moat arm. This is thought to represent the remains of a fishpond. The south west moat arm is connected to a broad channel, measuring 8m in width and up to 1.5m deep, which leads to the south. A sample of this is included in the scheduling.

All fences and horse jumps 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: 31632

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Foster, C W, Longley, T, The Lincolnshire Domesday and the Lincolnshire Survey, (1976)
Foster, C W, Longley, T, The Lincolnshire Domesday and the Lincolnshire Survey, (1976)
NMR, 354344, (1998)

End of official listing