Moated site and fishpond at Wyfordby
Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number: 1017619
Date first listed: 09-Oct-1981
Date of most recent amendment: 03-Feb-1993
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
District: Melton (District Authority)
National Grid Reference: SK 79292 18878
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 moat at Wyfordby survives well. Unusually for Leicestershire it has a raised central island which remains undisturbed and will retain significant evidence of the buildings which occupied it.
The medieval earthworks at Wyfordby lie on a south facing slope between the
village and the river Eye, 3km east of Melton Mowbray. They include a moated
site and fishpond.
The moat comprises a rectangular island raised by 2m above the surrounding ground surface which measures 20 x 30m and which has some construction stone showing on the south bank. Standing water is contained in the moat arms on the north, south and south-west sides of the island, with evidence of outer banks on the eastern and southern sides and an outer bank of up to 2.5m on the western side. Later disturbance has modified evidence of a north bank which may have contained an entrance. To the north-west the bank turns to form a fishpond, now dry, measuring 30 x 8m with banks up to 1.5m high. A feeding stream runs north-south on the eastern side of the site, although it is unconnected to the site today and is thus not included in the scheduling.
The site is believed to have been the residence of the Chevercourt family who abandoned it about 1400.
MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract. It includes a 2 metre boundary around the archaeological features, considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.
The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.
Legacy System number: 17102
Legacy System: RSM
Books and journals
Hartley, R F, The Medieval Earthworks of North-West Leicestershire, (1987), 16,48
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