The Manor moated site and fishpond complex


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1019979

Date first listed: 25-Jun-2001


Ordnance survey map of The Manor moated site and fishpond complex
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Lincolnshire

District: East Lindsey (District Authority)

Parish: Ludborough

National Grid Reference: TF 29655 95392


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.

A fishpond is an artificially created pool of slow moving freshwater constructed for the purpose of cultivating, breeding and storing fish to provide a constant and sustainable food supply. Groups of up to twelve ponds variously arranged in a single line or in a cluster and joined by leats have been recorded. The ponds may be of the same size or of several different sizes with each pond being stocked with different species or ages of fish. The size of the pond was related to function, with larger ponds thought to have had a storage capability whilst smaller, shallower ponds were used for fish cultivation and breeding. Fishponds were maintained by a water management system which included inlet and outlet channels. The tradition of constructing and using fishponds in England began during the medieval period and peaked in the 12th century and were largely built by the wealthy sectors of society. Despite being relatively common, fishponds are important for their associations with other classes of medieval monument and in providing evidence of the site economy.

The Manor moated site and fishpond complex survives well as a series of earthworks and buried deposits. Waterlogging will preserve organic remains (such as timber, leather, and seeds) which will give an insight into domestic and economic activity on the site. In addition, the artificially raised ground will preserve evidence of land use prior to construction. The good survival of the complex will preserve valuable evidence of the way in which these components of the medieval landscape developed and interrelated.


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


The monument includes a medieval moated site and fishpond complex located 150m south of The Manor. In 1086 Robert de Todeni held land at Ludborough as part of the manor of Binbrook. At the end of the 12th century Ralph de Clere held Ludborough and by the 13th century the property came into the possession of the de Braose family. The manor then descended, through marriage, in the same family until the late 16th century, and in the mid-17th century was sold to Christopher Smyth.

The moated site is linked to a series of three fishponds situated immediately east of the moat. The moated island measures approximately 100m by 80m, narrowing at the eastern end, and has internal divisions, including a rectangular enclosure, marked by a bank and ditch, at the north western corner of the island. The enclosure, measuring about 42m by 32m, is believed to represent the site of a former manor house which will survive as a buried feature. The moat measures up to 12m in width, and the western arm is lined by an external bank. A causeway on the western moat arm is thought to indicate the location of an original access point. A linear depression at the north west corner of the moat is thought to represent an inlet channel.

The three subrectangular fishponds, lying immediately to the east of the moat, are aligned west to east and measure 50m by 35m, 70m by 45m and 65m by 55m respectively. The water-filled ponds are surrounded and separated by banks raised above the general ground level with a continuous bank at the southern side of the ponds. The eastern and western ponds both include an island of modern origin. Water is supplied to the pond complex at the south west corner and flows from west to east, from one pond to the next, with an outflow provided in the easternmost bank of each pond, the location of the outlets forming part of the original water management system.

All fence posts are exluded 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: 33145

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Dudding, R C, 'Lincolnshire Architectural & Archaeological Society' in Ludborough, , Vol. 42, (1935), 189-220
Foster, C W, Longley, T, 'Lincoln Record Society Publications' in Lincolnshire Domesday and the Lindsey Survey, (1924)
Russell, E, Russell, R C, 'Lincolnshire History series' in Making new landscapes in Lincolnshire, , Vol. 5, (1983), 60-62
NMR, 353224, (1998)
Ordnance Survey, Field investigators comment, (1963)
Ordnance Survey, Field investigators comment, (1963)

End of official listing