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Goxhill Hall moated site, associated drainage system, fishponds and field system

A Scheduled Monument in Goxhill, North Lincolnshire

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Latitude: 53.6687 / 53°40'7"N

Longitude: -0.3226 / 0°19'21"W

OS Eastings: 510918.807523

OS Northings: 420443.273929

OS Grid: TA109204

Mapcode National: GBR VV50.YL

Mapcode Global: WHHH9.01NT

Entry Name: Goxhill Hall moated site, associated drainage system, fishponds and field system

Scheduled Date: 19 January 1962

Last Amended: 11 October 1993

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1007820

English Heritage Legacy ID: 21179

County: North Lincolnshire

Civil Parish: Goxhill

Traditional County: Lincolnshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Lincolnshire

Church of England Parish: Goxhill All Saints

Church of England Diocese: Lincoln


The monument is the moated site at Goxhill Hall. It includes the main moated
site and associated fishponds, drainage ditches, and part of a contemporary
field system.
The island of the moated site measures 60 metres north-south by 40 metres
east-west and provided a setting for a range of medieval buildings. Unusually,
one of these, a stone-built medieval chamber block, still stands in the north-
eastern corner of the island. This is thought to date to the late 14th or
early 15th century. The island is defined on all four sides by a moat
which remains water-filled. It is between 12m and 15m wide and up to 2m deep;
at the northern side of the site the inner edge of the eastern and western
arms are revetted with stone. The northern arm had been infilled, but was re-
dug in 1976.
Concentric to this moat on its west, south, and east sides, and lying between
20m and 40m from it, is a drainage ditch 10m wide and 1.5m to 2m deep.
Material excavated from this ditch has been used to construct banks up to 0.5m
high and 5m wide on either side of it. At its north-east corner this ditch
would originally have extended into the area now occupied by the farmyard of
Priory Farm. A building platform evident as an earthwork feature in the south-
eastern corner of the area enclosed by this drainage ditch indicates that
ancillary buildings associated with the moated site were located between the
moat and this outer ditch.
Further drainage ditches extend out from this concentric ditch surrounding the
moated site and link-up with the ditches which form the western, southern and
eastern boundaries of the monument. The proportions of all these ditches are
broadly similar to that surrounding the moat. This ditch system defines a
series of enclosures orientated north-south which surround the moat on its
west, east and south sides. The largest enclosure to the west of the moated
site and its associated concentric ditch measures 220m north-south, by
150m east-west. This was formerly used for cultivation as indicated by
the earthwork remains of ridge and furrow preserved there. To the east of the
moated site and its external ditch is another large enclosure measuring 260m
north-south by 85m wide east-west in which ridge and furrow earthworks are
also visible. Additionally a large rectangular fishponds is located here. This
measures 60m by 10m by 2m deep, and is orientated west-east aligning with the
south arm of the drainage ditch around the moat.
To the south of the moated site are two smaller enclosures; these do not
retain any evidence for arable cultivation and are interpreted as serving
other agricultural functions, possibly being stock enclosures. That to the
west measures 55m by 80m. That to the east measures 55m by 120m and has a
second fishpond located at its centre. This measures 32m by 12m and is also
orientated east-west. Originally the drainage ditches and field system
associated with the moated site extended beyond the monument. The site was
owned by the Despencer family, who developed it and built the fine medieval
hall which still stands on the site. There are documentary records of the site
from the reign of Richard II and Henry VIII.
The site was subsequently owned by the Wentworth family. From 1598 until the
19th century the hall was owned by the Hildyard family; they have now
acquired the site once more. The current building known as Goxhill Hall was
built between 1690 and 1701.
Although the medieval building on the site has been called a chapel, there is
no evidence that the site was ever in ecclesiastical use. The site has perhaps
been confused with Gokewell priory near Scunthorpe.
The medieval chamber block, which is listed Grade I, is included in the
scheduling, as is the ground beneath it. The house known as Goxhill Hall,
which is listed Grade II*, and its attached outbuildings are excluded from the
scheduling, although the ground beneath them is included.

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 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 moated site at Goxhill Hall survives well and is unusual in retaining one
of its original medieval buildings. Remains of the other buildings which
originally occupied the site will also survive on the island. The contemporary
enclosures incorporating further building remains, fishponds and part of a
field system will retain information on the wider economy which helped support
the moated site.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Dugdale, W, Monasticum Anglicanum, (1846), 325-8
Loughlin, N, Miller, K, Survey of Archaeological Sites in Humberside, (1979), 199
Loughlin, N, Miller, K, Survey of Archaeological Sites in Humberside, (1979), 199
Pevsner, N, John, H, The Buildings of England: Lincolnshire, (1964), 251
Thompson, A H, Military Architecture in England, (1912), 190
Williams, A, Medieval Humberside, (1989), 8

Source: Historic England

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