Moated site and garden enclosure at Glenfield


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1017680

Date first listed: 10-Jun-1992


Ordnance survey map of Moated site and garden enclosure at Glenfield
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Leicestershire

District: Blaby (District Authority)

Parish: Glenfields

National Grid Reference: SK 53510 06080


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 at Glenfield survives essentially undisturbed and will retain environmental information in the waterlogged conditions. There is evidence that the moat island contains the building foundations of a substantial house and associated buildings. The adjoining enclosure is a rare feature in Leicestershire and it is thought to have contained a formal garden.


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


The monument at Glenfield is situated on the south bank of the Rothley Brook to the west of the village and includes a moated site and enclosure adjoining on the western side.

The moat defines a sub-rectangular shape measuring 75m x 60m in maximum dimensions. The arms of the moat are water-filled and between 8m-l0m in width with part of the southern arm infilled. The modern access to the enclosed island crosses this infilled section of moat and an original access is thought to have been similarly located. On the western side of the moat is a roughly square enclosure measuring approximately 90m x 90m defined by a dry ditch about 0.75m deep and 8m wide, with the exception of the northern arm which has been modified. An entrance causeway, thought to be original, exists centrally on the southern arm. It is thought that the enclosure originally contained a formal garden.

Roof slate and ridge tile dating from the 13th-14th centuries have been found on the moat island. Probing activity on the moat island indicates stone foundations beneath the surface considered to be those of the medieval house which originally occupied it.

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: 17079

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Hartley, R F, The Medieval Earthworks of Central Leicestershire, (1989), 57, 66

End of official listing