Ancient Monuments

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Moated site at St Lois Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Elvington, York

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Latitude: 53.9344 / 53°56'3"N

Longitude: -0.9212 / 0°55'16"W

OS Eastings: 470924.8703

OS Northings: 449239.879488

OS Grid: SE709492

Mapcode National: GBR QQ0Y.CC

Mapcode Global: WHFCC.TCJM

Entry Name: Moated site at St Lois Farm

Scheduled Date: 19 November 1965

Last Amended: 12 January 1994

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1007818

English Heritage Legacy ID: 21193

County: York

Civil Parish: Elvington

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): North Yorkshire

Church of England Parish: Sutton-on-Derwent St Michael

Church of England Diocese: York


The monument is the moated site at St Lois Farm. It includes a large
sub-rectangular moated site enclosed by a waterlogged moat. The island
enclosed by the main moat is subdivided by a ditch, now dry, which runs
north-south. The area of the island to the west of this ditch measures 30m
north-south by 20m east-west; the area to the east, which is slightly larger
and more irregularly shaped, measures 50m north-south by 35m east-west. The
dividing ditch is 20m deep and 7m wide.

The moat which enclosed the island has been in-filled at the south-east corner
of the monument, probably when the adjacent farm complex was constructed in
this area. Elsewhere it remains visible as an earthwork and is between 7m and
10m wide and up to 20m deep. A pond has been cut into south-east corner of the
monument just north of the farmyard. This feature is considered to be of
medieval origin but has been expanded and has disturbed part of the island and
moat here.

Earthen banks survive immediately outside the western and northern arms of the
moat; they are between 0.3m and 0.5m high and 5m wide.

The monument was owned in the Middle Ages by the Percy family who were Earls
of Northumberland. A licence to crenellate was granted for the site in 1293,
allowing Percy to fortify it. Building debris has been found on the eastern
island, indicating the presence of structural remains here.

A building at the south-east corner of the moat extends into the area of the
scheduling. The part of the building concerned is excluded from the
scheduling, though the ground beneath it is included.

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.
It includes a 2 metre boundary around the archaeological features,
considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.

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.

Despite limited disturbance the monument survives reasonably well. Structural
remains are known to survive on the enclosed islands and environmental remains
will survive within the moat. It will retain significant information on the
manner and duration of its usage.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Le Patourel, H E J, Moated site of Yorkshire, (1973), 116

Source: Historic England

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