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Moated site with fishpond and flood banks at Long Whatton

A Scheduled Monument in Long Whatton and Diseworth, Leicestershire

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Latitude: 52.8102 / 52°48'36"N

Longitude: -1.2918 / 1°17'30"W

OS Eastings: 447830.787

OS Northings: 323860.636

OS Grid: SK478238

Mapcode National: GBR 7HS.XXL

Mapcode Global: WHDHH.4M3H

Entry Name: Moated site with fishpond and flood banks at Long Whatton

Scheduled Date: 24 July 1992

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1008551

English Heritage Legacy ID: 17082

County: Leicestershire

Civil Parish: Long Whatton and Diseworth

Built-Up Area: Long Whatton

Traditional County: Leicestershire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Leicestershire

Church of England Parish: Long Whatton All Saints

Church of England Diocese: Leicester


The site at Long Whatton lies to the north of the village, on the north facing
slope of the valley of the Whatton Brook, a tributary of the River Soar. It
includes a rectangular moated site, a fishpond and a series of flood banks
alongside the Whatton Brook. The monument is divided into two separate
constraint areas.

The moated site is situated at the top of the valley and measures 55 x 50m in
overall dimensions including the outer banks extant on the eastern and
northern sides and measuring 4m wide. The moat ditch is an average of 8m wide
and has a very silted appearance, giving a present depth of about 1m. Two
channels lead down the slope from the north-east and north-west corners of the
moat although their survival is poor and they are not included in the
scheduling. The position of the moat is such that in order to retain
water in the southern half of the moat, dams were constructed across its
central axis. Evidence for these dams can be seen now only on the eastern
side where a visible earthwork survives. Excavated evidence confirms that a
similar feature existed on the western side. The rectangular fishpond is
situated 50m to the north of the moat and lies on the south bank of the
Whatton Brook. It measures 60m x 45m including the outer banks which exist on
all sides except the eastern and measure up to 1m high. Situated either side
of the Whatton Brook are extensive flood banks considered to be contemporary
with the moated site and fishpond. On the south bank of the brook the bank
runs for 150m and is 5m across and up to 1m high. On the north bank four
shorter sections extending for 125m are of similar dimensions.

The moat was partly excavated over a ten year period from 1971 to 1981 at
which point half the island had been investigated. A suite of four stone
built rooms and a yard were revealed with fragments of stained glass
representing a chapel located near what is considered to be a gatehouse.
Excavation confirmed the presence of the dams mid-way along the east and
western arms of the moat. The pottery sequence ranged mainly from the 13th to
the 15th centuries, indicating abandonment in the 15th century. Further
earthworks in the field, which do not survive well and are not included in the
scheduling, indicate an extensive medieval complex of water channels and

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 Long Whatton survives in good condition and is unusual in
having surviving flood banks associated with it. Excavations have confirmed
that this was an important site with a range of well constructed buildings.
Further remains of this complex will survive in the unexcavated parts of
the site. Unusually, this site is one of two moated sites located in close
proximity to the village.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Hartley, R F, The Medieval Earthworks of North-West Leicestershire, (1987)
Tarver, A, 'Transactions of the Leicestershire Arch and Historical Society' in Long Whatton Moat, , Vol. 56, (1981)

Source: Historic England

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