Ancient Monuments

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Two moats and five fishponds at Top Green

A Scheduled Monument in Sibthorpe, Nottinghamshire

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Latitude: 52.9987 / 52°59'55"N

Longitude: -0.8573 / 0°51'26"W

OS Eastings: 476783.383699

OS Northings: 345206.456089

OS Grid: SK767452

Mapcode National: GBR BL1.S3V

Mapcode Global: WHFHV.SWXJ

Entry Name: Two moats and five fishponds at Top Green

Scheduled Date: 9 May 1951

Last Amended: 9 December 1992

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1009154

English Heritage Legacy ID: 13391

County: Nottinghamshire

Civil Parish: Sibthorpe

Traditional County: Nottinghamshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Nottinghamshire

Church of England Parish: Sibthorpe

Church of England Diocese: Southwell and Nottingham


The monument includes a group of two moats and five fishponds at Top Green.
The two moats are adjacent to each other and lie at the south end of the site.
Each consists of a platform or island surrounded by a 12m wide ditch which
varies in depth between 1m and 2m, the deepest area being to the north-east
where the moats connect with the fishpond complex. The westernmost island is
the larger, measuring c.30m on each side, and a low bank extending round the
north and west sides indicates that it was revetted with a wall. The eastern
island measures c.30m west to east by c.25m north to south and does not appear
to have been walled. The two moats share a central dividing ditch and it is
probable that the platforms were connected by a bridge somewhere along this
At its north end, the central ditch is partially enclosed by a short spur
which projects from the north-east corner of the western island and indicates
the position of a wooden sluice gate which would have controlled the flow of
water and fish in the moat. North of it lies the first fishpond, comprising a
2m deep area roughly 20m square where the two moats connect. Projecting from
the north-west corner of this pond is a narrow 30m long channel which lies
between two linear banks, each c.8m wide and running west to east. The bank
south of the channel extends round the north arm of the western moat, ending
roughly on a level with the central dividing ditch, while the one north of the
channel extends further eastward, forming the north side of the pond. At its
east end this bank turns south then east again, forming the east side of the
pond and partially enclosing the north arm of the east moat. Turning north
again, it encloses a small 5m square fishpond which lies to the east of the
first. This small pond is connected via a sluice, projecting from its
north-east corner, to the east arm of the eastern moat which here extends past
the island to form the third fishpond. This third pond is rectangular, 2m
deep and measures c.50m from north to south by c.12m east to west. At either
end, further rectangular fishponds join it at right-angles, each one measuring
c.25m by c.10m. The remains of domestic and ancillary buildings will survive
in the area adjacent to the fishponds and on the two islands. Excluded from
the scheduling are the shelter and haystore on the eastern island and all
boundary fencing and hedges, although the ground underneath these features is

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 site at Top Green is a good example of a double moat with attached
fishponds. It has suffered only minimal disturbance since it was abandoned
and so remains from both the medieval and post-medieval periods will survive
well and extensively.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
The Victoria History of the County of Nottinghamshire: Volume I, (1906), 310
Allcroft, Hadrian, (1908)

Source: Historic England

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