Ancient Monuments

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Barf Hill moated site

A Scheduled Monument in Beswick, East Riding of Yorkshire

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Latitude: 53.9104 / 53°54'37"N

Longitude: -0.4087 / 0°24'31"W

OS Eastings: 504629.085311

OS Northings: 447195.060729

OS Grid: TA046471

Mapcode National: GBR TRL6.9Z

Mapcode Global: WHGDR.PZL4

Entry Name: Barf Hill moated site

Scheduled Date: 30 September 1993

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1007717

English Heritage Legacy ID: 21173

County: East Riding of Yorkshire

Civil Parish: Beswick

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): East Riding of Yorkshire

Church of England Parish: Lockington St Mary

Church of England Diocese: York


The monument is Barf Hill moated site. It includes a raised platform 5m high,
60m in length from east to west, and 90m from north to south. The platform is
surrounded on all four sides by a moat 5m wide and up to 1m deep. The north-
western corner of the moat has been infilled where it is crossed by a farm
track. The northern arm of the moat has been incorporated into later land
drainage features and appears to have been periodically cleared. The eastern
and southern arms of the moat are more silted than the northern and western
arms and are now only 0.5m in depth. There are traces of external banks on the
eastern and northern sides of the moat. These banks are low and spread and up
to 0.5m high and 5m in breadth. Two silted fishponds are preserved at the
north end of the island. Each pond is 0.5m deep, 2m wide, and 20m in length.
They are connected by a short silted channel.
The scheduling boundary encloses the moat running 5m beyond its outer edge,
except at the south-eastern, and south-western corners and along the southern
boundary. Here the scheduling boundary follows the modern fence line, since
any remains beyond it have been destroyed.
The monument has been identified as a grange of Meaux Abbey and as a possible
vacary (cattle farm). Local tradition suggests that this site was re-used as a
gun platform during the English Civil War. There is, however, no firm evidence
for this and indeed present understanding of military action in this area
suggests that this is unlikely.

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

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 seigniorial residences withthe
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.
Barf Hill moated site survives well and appears never to have been excavated
or disturbed. The silted ditches and fishponds will preserve organic remains.
Remains of the buildings which formerly occupied the site will be preserved on
the island.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Bulmer, T, History and Directory of East Yorkshire, (1892), 453
Le Patourel, H E J, Moated site of Yorkshire, (1973), 109
Le Patourel, H E J, Moated site of Yorkshire, (1973), 109
Loughlin, N, Miller, K, Survey of Archaeological Sites in Humberside, (1979), 31
Sheahan, , Whellan, , History and Topography of York And The East Riding, (1856)
3729, Humberside S.M.R,

Source: Historic England

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