Ancient Monuments

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Moat at Lea Meadows

A Scheduled Monument in Newtown Linford, Leicestershire

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Latitude: 52.7003 / 52°42'1"N

Longitude: -1.2533 / 1°15'11"W

OS Eastings: 450554.862031

OS Northings: 311664.707355

OS Grid: SK505116

Mapcode National: GBR 8LJ.MZ8

Mapcode Global: WHDJ2.QDD7

Entry Name: Moat at Lea Meadows

Scheduled Date: 3 February 1993

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1009167

English Heritage Legacy ID: 17098

County: Leicestershire

Civil Parish: Newtown Linford

Traditional County: Leicestershire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Leicestershire

Church of England Parish: Newtown Linford

Church of England Diocese: Leicester


The monument is situated in the granite uplands north-west of Leicester and
includes a moated site with associated drainage channels.

The rectangular moated area measures approximately 75 x 85m in overall
dimensions and is divided into two parts by the former course of a stream,
which currently flows on the eastern side of the site. The western half of the
moated area is composed of a large rectangular island measuring 35 x 85m. The
eastern half of the area is of similar dimensions but divided to form two
islands each measuring 40 x 35m. The moat arms have been partly infilled,
particularly the western arm, the remainder measuring about 0.5m deep. An
external bank measuring 0.5m high lies on the north-west side of the site. To
the south of the moated area is a complex system of interconnecting water
channels and enclosures which are an integral part of the site.

Lea Meadows together with Lea Wood, was meadow land, first mentioned in 1287.
It was cleared from the forest to enclose 100 acres. The land was held by the
manor of Groby and not Ulverscroft.

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 Lea Meadows, Ulverscroft survives well and is an important example
of a moat in a well documented area of forest clearance.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Lea Meadows

Source: Historic England

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