Wybert's Castle medieval moated site


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:


Ordnance survey map of Wybert's Castle medieval moated site
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Boston (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:
TF 33560 41006

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 known as Wybert's Castle survive well as a series of earthworks and buried deposits. The artificial raising of the moated island above the prevailing ground level, together with the banks, will preserve earlier ground surfaces which will provide evidence of land use prior to the construction of the moat. Waterlogging in the base of the moat and ponds will preserve organic remains, such as timber, leather and seeds, which will give an insight into domestic and economic activity on the site. As a result of archaeological excavation and documentary research the date of occupation of the complex and its ownership are quite well understood.


The monument includes a medieval moated site, known as Wybert's Castle, located at the south end of Wybert Lane, about 2km east of the village of Wyberton.

The monument lies on relatively low-lying ground to the east of the present day village. The moated complex covers an area measuring 210m by 170m surrounding an island measuring approximately 180m by 120m. The island, which is raised above the level of the surrounding ground, includes a central pond linked to the moat by a channel or leat which may reflect a subdivision of the site. Excavations undertaken in 1959-1960 revealed remains of stone structures on the eastern half of the island, associated with pottery which suggested that the moated site was occupied during the 12th and 13th centuries and with some evidence that the site may have been in use until the 15th century.

The moat encloses the island to the east, south and west, and measures between 7m to 12m across with an internal bank along much of its length. The eastern half of the northern moat arm has been infilled, but survives as a buried feature; it is thought that the original access to the island may have been at the north east corner. The open section of the northern moat arm is enlarged, with a rectangular pond lying immediately to its north. This pond and that on the moated island would have provided a supply of fish and/or fowl to the manor. The ponds and some sections of the moat now contain water.

Water was formerly supplied to the moat from the south by a stream which flowed round the western and northern sides of the complex immediately outside the monument.

In 1086 there were two holdings in the area, one in the possession of Count Alan of Brittany and the other held by Guy de Craon. By the 13th century much of the land at Wyberton, possibly that which had been held by Count Alan, belonged to the earl of Richmond and was tenanted. In the 18th century the moated site was known as `Wells Slade', suggesting that it was held by the Wells family who had a manor in Wyberton in the 14th century. Although they were not tenants it is thought that their holding at Wyberton may have descended from previously tenanted land. The name `Wybert's Castle' is thought to be of late 19th century origin.

All fences, gates and feed troughs 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:
Legacy System:


Books and journals
Downham, EA, Ancient Earthworks in Lincolnshire, (1912)
Healey, RH, Roffe, DR, Some medieval and later earthworks in South Lincolnshire, (1990), 105-107
Healey, RH, Roffe, DR, Some medieval and later earthworks in South Lincolnshire, (1990), 105-107


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

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