Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Moated site and fishponds south-west of Highfields Farm

A Scheduled Monument in South Kilworth, Leicestershire

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Latitude: 52.4277 / 52°25'39"N

Longitude: -1.113 / 1°6'46"W

OS Eastings: 460410.1994

OS Northings: 281447.3016

OS Grid: SP604814

Mapcode National: GBR 9RB.TNN

Mapcode Global: VHCTM.N7GS

Entry Name: Moated site and fishponds south-west of Highfields Farm

Scheduled Date: 25 February 1953

Last Amended: 4 January 1993

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1009172

English Heritage Legacy ID: 17037

County: Leicestershire

Civil Parish: South Kilworth

Built-Up Area: South Kilworth

Traditional County: Leicestershire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Leicestershire

Church of England Parish: South Kilworth St Nicholas

Church of England Diocese: Leicester


The site at South Kilworth lies south of the village on a stream which feeds
Stanford Reservoir 0.5km to the south. It includes a moated site and three
fishponds and is divided into two separate areas.
The main element of the monument is the moat which is water-filled and
measures approximately 60 x 50m overall, the moat being 7-8m wide and
enclosing a sub-rectangular island. Fishponds adjoin the moat on two sides.
Those on the south-east are water-filled and take the form of two ponds each
measuring 65 x 30m. The pond on the north-west side does not retain standing
water but it is waterlogged. It measures 50 x 70m at its longest dimensions
and its north-west end is triangular in shape, narrowing to the point at which
a feeder stream enters it. The pond is surrounded by an earthwork bank 1m
high. Across the Rugby Road, 100m to the north-west is a further linear
fishpond which measures 140 x 2Om. Originally this fishpond would have been
linked by channels to the moated complex. The whole system is now fed by a
stream which flows from the north-west immediately to the west of the site.
It is probable that this stream originally fed the complex through a series of
connecting channels and sluices.
Documentary references show that the manor was held by the Belgrave family in
the 16th and 17th centuries. In 1633 it was known as Well Close `where
formerly stood the manor house'.

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 monument at South Kilworth survives reasonably well and contains an
extensive system of fishponds which will contain waterlogged deposits of
organic material.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Nichols, J, The History and Antiquities of the County of Leicestershire, (1811)
Nichols, J, The History and Antiquities of the County of Leicestershire, (1804)

Source: Historic England

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