Bratoft Hall moated site, 550m north of Manor Farm


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1017392

Date first listed: 08-Dec-1997


Ordnance survey map of Bratoft Hall moated site, 550m north of Manor Farm
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Lincolnshire

District: East Lindsey (District Authority)

Parish: Bratoft

County: Lincolnshire

District: East Lindsey (District Authority)

Parish: Candlesby with Gunby

National Grid Reference: TF 47204 65489


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 remains of the moated site at Bratoft Hall survive particularly well as a series of substantial earthworks. The site has been little altered since it was abandoned and the majority of buried deposits, including structural remains of the hall, will therefore remain intact. In addition the waterlogged nature of the moat indicates a high level of survival for organic remains. The remains of the moated site are associated with formal gardens and traces of earlier cultivation, the relationship between which is significant in understanding the historical framework for the adaptation and development of the site. As a result of the survival of historical documentation relating to the site and subsequent archaeological evalauation the remains are quite well understood and provide valuable information about the utilization of a high status manorial moated site.


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


The monument includes a medieval moated site with associated garden remains 550m north of Manor Farm. The moated site is known to have been the location of Bratoft Hall, a medieval house built by the Markham family who owned the site between 1409 and 1538. The house subsequently passed through marriage to the Massingberds, who in 1698 had Bratoft Hall demolished and moved to a new house at Gunby.

The remains include the earthworks of a raised moated platform where the buried remains of the medieval house are located. The moat is partly water- filled, up to 5m in width and 2m in depth and defines a rectilinear area approximately 90m by a maximum of 105m. A causeway about 2.5m in width crosses the eastern side of the moat and represents the original access to the island. Brickwork visible within the southern edge of the causeway is considered to represent the remains of revetting. Chalk blocks within the inner edge of the moat adjacent to the causeway are also considered to have fulfilled a similar function. A parallel series of banks and ditches running on an ENE-WSW axis immediately north of the moat are considered to represent contemporary formal garden remains associated with the hall. The garden remains overlie traces of earlier ridge-and-furrow cultivation which are visible as faint linear undulations orientated on a NNW-SSW axis perpendicular to the banks. An undisturbed continuation of this ridge-and-furrow is visible in an area approximately 7m by 125m between the northern edge of the formal garden remains and the modern field boundary. A linear depression up to 2m in width and 0.6m in depth running for 45m on a NNW-SSW axis from the field boundary into the north western corner of the moat is considered to represent the remains of a contemporary water control feature in the form of a drainage channel. A second cut in the outer edge of the moat approximately 10m south is thought to represent a similar feature, originally feeding the site from the west but later truncated by ploughing.

In 1966 sherds of post-medieval green glaze pottery, Siegburg stoneware and stamped tiles were recovered from the site. Further investigations in 1977 revealed pieces of local 17th century pottery within the inner edge of the moat. An archaeological survey in 1986 revealed the existence of large quantities of brick and tile in the field to the north of the monument which were interpreted as a spread of debris relating to the demolition of the hall. A small bone figurine dated stylistically to c.1340-80 was found nearby, indicative of activity in the vicinity during the 14th century before the hall was built.

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: 30219

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Lincolnshire History and Archaeology: Volume 2, (1976)
Oldfield, E, Topographical and Historical Account of Wainfleet, (1829)
Smith, L, National Trust Archaeological Survey of the Gunby Hall Estate, (1986)
Lincolnshire County SMR: PRN 40716, (1992)
Lincolnshire County SMR: PRN 40716, (1992)
RCHME, NMR Complete Listing: TF 46 NE 8,

End of official listing