Ancient Monuments

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Mote Hill: a moated site, two fishponds and part of an adjacent field system 500m west of Nun Appleton Hall

A Scheduled Monument in Appleton Roebuck, North Yorkshire

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Latitude: 53.8519 / 53°51'6"N

Longitude: -1.1644 / 1°9'51"W

OS Eastings: 455065.675978

OS Northings: 439837.429196

OS Grid: SE550398

Mapcode National: GBR NR9W.QY

Mapcode Global: WHDBJ.2FSY

Entry Name: Mote Hill: a moated site, two fishponds and part of an adjacent field system 500m west of Nun Appleton Hall

Scheduled Date: 8 August 1973

Last Amended: 23 September 1993

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1008229

English Heritage Legacy ID: 20521

County: North Yorkshire

Civil Parish: Appleton Roebuck

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): North Yorkshire

Church of England Parish: Appleton Roebuck with Acaster Selby

Church of England Diocese: York


The monument includes a moated site and adjacent fishponds situated on level
ground at the northern edge of the floodplain of the lower River Wharfe. The
surrounding land was cultivated in the medieval period and extensive slight
ridge-and-furrow earthworks remain visible; these are included in the
scheduling where they abut the edge of the moat. Nun Appleton Hall, site of a
Benedictine nunnery with which the moat may have been associated, lies 500m to
the east and forms the subject of a separate scheduling.
The moated site is roughly triangular in plan, surrounded by a ditch 12m wide
and up to 2m deep. A stream feeds into the moat via a leat from the north and
flows down the north-western arm. Along the eastern arm there is a slight 5m
wide outer bank and the otherwise flat moated island has a 0.3m high bank
along its eastern edge. The southern arm of the moat has been altered to form
a roughly rectangular fishpond 30m long by 10m wide; this has become silted up
over the years and is now apparent as a boggy depression. A second pond lies
to the west of the first and is visible as a rectangular depression 30m long
by 10m wide and about 0.5m deep extending west from the main enclosing moat.
All fences are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath them
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.

The moated site at Mote Hill is well preserved and as there are no modern
buildings on the interior of the island the foundations of medieval buildings
will be well preserved below the surface. The accumulated silts of the moat
ditch and associated fishponds also favour the survival of evidence which
would assist the study of the medieval environment and the economy of the

Source: Historic England


Title: Ordnance Survey 1:2500
Source Date:

Title: Ordnance Survey 25" Series
Source Date: 1908

Source: Historic England

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