Two moated sites and associated features 520m north of Grimston Garth


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1021241

Date first listed: 11-Nov-1954

Date of most recent amendment: 26-Nov-2004


Ordnance survey map of Two moated sites and associated features 520m north of Grimston Garth
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: East Riding of Yorkshire (Unitary Authority)

Parish: East Garton

National Grid Reference: TA 28398 35622


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 two moats at Grimston survive well and significant earthwork and buried remains are preserved. Taken as whole the monument offers important scope for the study of medieval domestic life as well as the development of expressions of status.


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


The monument includes earthwork and buried remains of two medieval moats and adjacent ancillary features. It is located 50m inland from the sea on the coastal plain of Holderness 5km south of Aldborough. The remains include a large rectangular moat with a smaller secondary moat to the north west and a range of features including ditches and ponds between the moat and the sea.

The date of construction for the larger moated site is currently unknown but is thought to date between the 12th to 14th centuries and was the site of a high status manorial residence. The secondary smaller moat is thought to have been for ornamental purposes and would have contained pleasure gardens or orchards. The manorial residence and associated features are all that survive of the former medieval village of Grimston, which is known to have been in existence by the Domesday survey in 1086. It was common for the more prestigious dwellings of medieval settlements to be located in a prominent position away from the main settlement reflecting importance as the habitation of the lords of the manor. Evidence from aerial photographs and field survey shows that parts of the wider medieval village were located some 500m to the west. These however have been intensively ploughed and there are no earthwork remains visible.

By the 17th century the manor house was the seat of the Grimston family until it was destroyed by fire in the middle of that century. The site continued in use and by the 19th century there was a farm complex within the main moat called Grimston Garth, which is shown on the Ordnance Survey map to be on the site of an earlier building called Grimston Hall. During the late 18th and 19th centuries the monument lay within an area called Great Parks which was part of the wider designed landscape for the 18th century gothic house of Grimston Garth built by Thomas Grimston in the 1780s and located 500m to the south. During this time the smaller moat seems to have functioned as a landscape feature within the Great Parks as it has been known as The Keep, The Mount and also as Lady Grimston's Bower.

The large moated site includes a rectangular shaped platform, orientated east to west enclosed on all sides by a ditch. The platform measures 89m by 60m and the encircling ditch is up to 15m wide. Access to the moated platform is by a causeway on the eastern side. This is shown on the 19th century map and it is thought to be the original entrance way. Within the moat platform there are standing farm buildings including a section of wall believed to be the remains of the former Grimston Hall.

The second smaller moat is located 40m to the north west of the main moat. The central platform is orientated north to south and measures 30m by 17m. The enclosing ditch is 6m wide. Access appears to be at the north eastern corner.

To the east of the main moat there are remains of some features associated with the manorial complex. These include remains of ditches which divided the area into enclosures possibly for horticulture and ponds which would have been used as fishponds.

All standing buildings, fence posts, gates and all made up surfaces are excluded from the scheduling; although the ground beneath these features is included.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.

This list entry was subject to a Minor Amendment on 05/12/2011


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

Legacy System number: 35496

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Neave, D, Turnbull, D, Landscaped Parks and Gardens of East Yorkshire, (1992), 31-32
Neave, D, Turnbull, D, Landscaped Parks and Gardens of East Yorkshire, (1992), 31-32
Neave, S, Ellis, S, An Historical Atlas of East Yorkshire, (1996), 32, 54

End of official listing