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Old Hays moated site and associated manorial earthworks, Ratby

List Entry Summary

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.

Name: Old Hays moated site and associated manorial earthworks, Ratby

List entry Number: 1017584


The monument may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Leicestershire

District: Hinckley and Bosworth

District Type: District Authority

Parish: Ratby

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 29-May-1952

Date of most recent amendment: 21-Jan-1991

Legacy System Information

The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System: RSM

UID: 11563

Asset Groupings

This list entry does not comprise part of an Asset Grouping. Asset Groupings are not part of the official record but are added later for information.

List entry Description

Summary of Monument

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.

Old Hays is a well-preserved example of a Leicestershire moated enclosure which is unusual for the depth of the surrounding moat. The significance of the site is greatly increased by the range of historical documentation relating to the manorial complex and its association with Leicester Abbey.


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


The monument includes the remains of a Medieval moated enclosure and its associated manorial earthworks. The moated enclosure is rectangular in shape measuring some 40m by 50m in maximum external dimensions inclusive of the 10m wide moat. The partially dry moat has been infilled along part of the south and east arms, elsewhere it varies in depth between 3m and 4m with its inner edge faced with masonry. The moated island is level with the surrounding land and contains the upstanding remains of Old Hays farmhouse and an outhouse building. The farmhouse was built in 1733 and is a grade II listed building. The upstanding remains of these buildings are excluded from the scheduling although their below-ground remains are included as they are considered to preserve the remains of earlier buildings and features. Entrance to the site is via a covered bridge building (the upstanding remains of which are similarly excluded from the scheduling). Immediately to the north and west of the moated enclosure are the well- defined earthwork remains of two rectangular enclosures and a series of small rectangular hollows, comprising a related manorial complex. The enclosures each measure some 90m by 40m and have been constructed to form terraces adjacent to the moat. The enclosures are defined by low banks, scarps and ditches. Between the enclosures are a series of at least three hollows measuring about 8m by 6m, considered to mark the sites of contemporary peasant cots. The hollows are located along a slight scarp slope which joins a 40m long length of ditch running south- east dividing the two enclosures. Two low banks west of the moat define a further small enclosure.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.

Selected Sources

L.M.S. record office, Graf, A, (1989)
Ordnance Survey Record, A.J.T., Ordnance Survey Record, (1981)
SMR record, R.F.H., SMR Record, (1986)

National Grid Reference: SK 49036 06526


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The above map is for quick reference purposes only and may not be to scale. For a copy of the full scale map, please see the attached PDF - 1017584 .pdf

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This copy shows the entry on 25-Sep-2018 at 06:54:07.

End of official listing