Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Moated grange at Monk Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Holme upon Spalding Moor, East Riding of Yorkshire

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Latitude: 53.8283 / 53°49'41"N

Longitude: -0.8085 / 0°48'30"W

OS Eastings: 478523.632717

OS Northings: 437547.803023

OS Grid: SE785375

Mapcode National: GBR QSS5.RD

Mapcode Global: WHFD0.K17H

Entry Name: Moated grange at Monk Farm

Scheduled Date: 25 July 1975

Last Amended: 11 October 1993

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1008675

English Heritage Legacy ID: 21201

County: East Riding of Yorkshire

Civil Parish: Holme upon Spalding Moor

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): East Riding of Yorkshire

Church of England Parish: Holme-on-Spalding Moor

Church of England Diocese: York


The monument is the moated site at Monk Farm. It includes a sub-rectangular
island surrounded by a single moat which is now dry.
The enclosed island measures 60m long, north-south, by 25m wide, east-west.
The surrounding moat is between 1.5m and 1.75m deep; its eastern and northern
arms are 5m wide, the western arm is 7m wide, and the southern arm is 6m wide.
An earthen causeway crosses the southern arm of the moat, connecting the
island to the green lane which lies immediately to the south of the moated
The moated site was constructed in the twelfth century as a grange of Selby
Abbey. After the Dissolution of the Monasteries the site was, according to
local tradition, used as a regular overnight stop for prisoners being taken
from Hull to the York Assizes, though there is no sound proof of this.
The scheduling includes a 2m surrounding margin on the northern, western and
eastern sides considered essential to the support and preservation of the

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 Monk Farm survives well. The island is unencumbered by
modern building and will retain evidence of the buildings which occupied it.
The site has also been identified as a monastic farm or grange. Such sites
were fairly numerous in the medieval period but only a small number can now be
positively identified on the ground. This example will contribute to the
study of the economy of its parent house, Selby Abbey.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Le Patourel, H E J, Moated site of Yorkshire, (1973), 113
Loughlin, N, Miller, K, Survey of Archaeological Sites in Humberside, (1979), 43
Fowler, J T, 'Yorks. Arch. Soc. Record Series' in The Coucher Book of Selby Abbey, , Vol. 13, (1893), 26-40

Source: Historic England

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