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Moated site and water-management features south of White House

A Scheduled Monument in Cottingwith, East Riding of Yorkshire

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Latitude: 53.8866 / 53°53'11"N

Longitude: -0.9181 / 0°55'5"W

OS Eastings: 471207.859013

OS Northings: 443919.908002

OS Grid: SE712439

Mapcode National: GBR QR1H.1H

Mapcode Global: WHFCK.VKZT

Entry Name: Moated site and water-management features south of White House

Scheduled Date: 22 July 1964

Last Amended: 13 April 1994

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1007974

English Heritage Legacy ID: 23829

County: East Riding of Yorkshire

Civil Parish: Cottingwith

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): East Riding of Yorkshire

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

Church of England Diocese: York


The monument is a large moated site to the south of the village of Storwood;
it is situated on ground above the Pocklington Canal and the old course of the
River Derwent. It includes a sub-rectangular island 90m long, north-south, and
70m wide, east-west, which is defined by a dry moat which is between 10m and
25m wide and between 1.5m and 3m deep. Immediately external to the northern
and eastern arms of the moat there is an earthen bank 7m wide and up to 1.5m
high. An earthen bank is also visible immediately external to the moat's
western arm; it is between 5m and 9m wide and is up to 1m high.
Water-management features extend from the south-western and north-western
corners of the moat, both features are overflow channels designed to carry
water from the moat to the river course. Excess water was carried away by
these two channels which ran off to the west from the moat's western arm. The
channel which runs from the north-west corner is 10m wide and up to 2m deep.
Where this channel connects with the moat it has been partially dammed with an
earth bank; the 2m wide gap in this dam would have held wooden sluices to
control the water. There are flanking earthen banks 5m wide and up to 1m high
immediately external to the drainage channels. The features at the south-
western corner are more complex than those to the north. Here the western arm
of the moat has been subdivided by an earthen bank 15m long, 4m wide and 0.5m
high. This connects with a large bank 6m wide and 5m long which extends into
the moat from the west and which is believed to have been a bridge platform
affording access to the island. Close to the bridge platform there is a 1m
wide break in the dividing earthen bank which would have held wooden sluice
gates. The section of the moat to the west of the dividing bank connects with
a heavily silted channel between 8m and 10m wide and up to 0.5m deep which
runs westwards toward the old river course. Both drainage channels have been
truncated to the west by works associated with the construction of the
Pocklington canal. A heavily silted channel 0.3m wide and 0.15m deep runs into
the southern arm of the moat; this channel is interpreted as a post-medieval
field drain as it connects to other drainage features and boundary ditches.
The monument is believed to have belonged to the De Roos family who built
Helmsley Castle and held property right across Yorkshire. It has also been
suggested that this monument began life as the site known from documentary
sources as Wheldrake Castle which was built between 1178 and 1185 and which
had a licence for refortification revoked by the Crown in 1199 before works
were completed. It is not certain whether this moated site and Wheldrake
Castle occupy the same site and no identifiable remains of any monument
predating the moated site remain visible.

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 to the moat's drainage channels, the moated site
south of White House survives well. The island is unencumbered by modern
building and will retain evidence of the buildings which occupied it.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Le Patourel, H E J, Moated site of Yorkshire, (1973), 116
Loughlin, N, Miller, K, Survey of Archaeological Sites in Humberside, (1979), 89
Renn, D F, Norman Castles in Britain, (1968), 344
AJC 56/38, 57/3-4, Crawshaw, A J,
CUC ARC 1-2, CUC ARC 1-2,

Source: Historic England

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