Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Fountain Dale moat

A Scheduled Monument in Blidworth, Nottinghamshire

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Latitude: 53.1061 / 53°6'22"N

Longitude: -1.1549 / 1°9'17"W

OS Eastings: 456671.070305

OS Northings: 356883.471665

OS Grid: SK566568

Mapcode National: GBR 8FT.8TM

Mapcode Global: WHDG6.7693

Entry Name: Fountain Dale moat

Scheduled Date: 5 February 1993

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1008627

English Heritage Legacy ID: 23215

County: Nottinghamshire

Civil Parish: Blidworth

Traditional County: Nottinghamshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Nottinghamshire


This monument is a moat which includes a roughly rectangular island measuring
48m x 35m surrounded by a 12m wide ditch which is in turn enclosed by
substantial outer bank measuring 1m high and 2m wide. The ditch is steep
sided and is 2m deep to the island or 3m deep to the bank. The north-east
corner of the moat is crossed by a 14m wide causeway. In 1251, the moat was
the site of a hunting lodge within Sherwood Forest from which the forester
Raffe Clerc collected tolls. In the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries it
was also a residence for the forest underlords when visiting Mansfield.

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.

Fountain Dale moat is a well-preserved example of a small residential moat
with documented historical associations. It has suffered little disturbance
since it was abandoned, and so the buried remains of medieval buildings and
structures will survive throughout.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
The Victoria History of the County of Nottinghamshire: Volume I, (1906), 310
Groves, W H, History of Mansfield, (1894), 90
Knighton, J H, History of Mansfield, (1937), 13,23
Stapleton, A, 'Nottinghamshire Occasional Papers' in Nottinghamshire Occasional Papers, (1911), 121

Source: Historic England

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