Moated site west of Church Road

Overview

Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1017858

Date first listed: 13-Feb-1953

Date of most recent amendment: 25-Jan-1993

Map

Ordnance survey map of Moated site west of Church Road
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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Location

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

County: Nottinghamshire

District: Newark and Sherwood (District Authority)

Parish: Harby

National Grid Reference: SK8778370554

Summary

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 moat at Harby is a reasonably well-preserved example of a large manorial moat with documented historical associations. Though it has suffered some disturbance since it was abandoned, this has been restricted to one area and the remains of buildings and structures from all phases of occupation will survive throughout.

History

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

Details

The monument is the moated site west of All Saints Church, Harby and includes part of a roughly square platform enclosed on its south and west sides by ditches and, on its north side, by a boundary bank. The monument would also have extended eastwards into the area now occupied by All Saints churchyard. However, apart from a small area containing the surviving east end of the south ditch, the churchyard is not included in the scheduling as it is in current ecclesiastical use. Apart from the boundary bank along its northern edge, the platform was roughly 70m square. Approximately three-quarters of this area is included within the scheduling. Low earthworks along the northern edge of the platform mark the foundations of brick-built structures and are interpreted as evidence of later re-use of the moated site. The boundary bank is c.5m wide and 1.25m high and is flat-topped. Originally, it would have supported a timber palisade or wall. It extends westwards to form a dam across the northern end of the ditch on the west side of the moat, and is now truncated by the modern field boundary. Originally, it would have continued further westward to form the boundary round a second enclosure. At its north end, the western moat ditch is c.11m wide and has a very shallow V-shaped profile with a maximum depth of 1.5m. Towards the south, it is nearer 2m deep and is steeper sided. A 7m wide causeway lies between the south end of this ditch and the west end of the southern moat ditch. The south ditch is c.2m deep and 8m wide and has been filled in to the east where the churchyard now lies. There is now no visible sign of a ditch along the east side of the moat. This suggests either that the church lay within the moated enclosure or that the feature has been filled in and built over. The monument, which is sometimes wrongly referred to as Queen Eleanor's Palace, was in fact the site of the medieval moated manor house of Richard de Weston. It was here that the Queen died in 1290 after failing to recover from an illness whilst accompanying her husband Edward I on his campaign against the Scots. The moat would have been constructed some time prior to this and would have continued in use for some time after.

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.

Legacy

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

Legacy System number: 23213

Legacy System: RSM

Sources

Books and journals
Thorold, H, Shell Guide to Nottinghamshire, (1984), 77
'Transactions of the Thoroton Society' in Transactions of the Thoroton Society: Volume 3, , Vol. 3, (1899), 2-15

End of official listing