Ancient Monuments

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Medieval moated site west of St Oswald's Church

A Scheduled Monument in Kirkoswald, Cumbria

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Latitude: 54.7604 / 54°45'37"N

Longitude: -2.6939 / 2°41'38"W

OS Eastings: 355442.617867

OS Northings: 540826.344917

OS Grid: NY554408

Mapcode National: GBR 9FMD.KB

Mapcode Global: WH80S.LLDZ

Entry Name: Medieval moated site W of St Oswald's Church

Scheduled Date: 25 May 1978

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1007088

English Heritage Legacy ID: CU 515

County: Cumbria

Civil Parish: Kirkoswald

Traditional County: Cumberland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cumbria

Church of England Parish: Kirkoswald St Oswald

Church of England Diocese: Carlisle


Moated site, 500m south west of Kirkoswald Castle.

Source: Historic England


This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 31 March 2016. This record has been generated from an "old county number" (OCN) scheduling record. These are monuments that were not reviewed under the Monuments Protection Programme and are some of our oldest designation records.

The monument includes the remains of a moated site of medieval date, situated on level ground just east of the River Eden, immediately adjacent to St Oswald's Church. The monument includes a central rectangular enclosure measuring 50m by 20m surrounded by a 5m to 8m wide ditch. This in turn is surrounded by double ditches enclosing a trapezoidal area measuring approximately 250m by 175m, with the ditches being flat-bottomed, 4m wide and spaced 15m apart. The monument is interpreted as the predecessor to the nearby Kirkoswald Castle. This later castle has been associated with a licence to fortify granted to Sir Hugh de Marville in 1201, although the surviving remains of Kirkoswald Castle are dated to the 14th century so it is possible that the 1201 licence may relate to the moated site.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

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.

Moated site, 500m south west of Kirkoswald Castle is preserved as an earthwork and will contain archaeological deposits relating to its construction, use and abandonment. The monument provides insight into settlement patterns during the medieval period and it is significance is increased by its proximity to the remains of Kirkoswald Castle.

Source: Historic England


PastScape Monument No:- 12451, 1389442

Source: Historic England

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