Ancient Monuments

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Moated site and fishponds south-east of St Mary's Church

A Scheduled Monument in Ashby Magna, Leicestershire

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Latitude: 52.5084 / 52°30'30"N

Longitude: -1.1691 / 1°10'8"W

OS Eastings: 456491.909943

OS Northings: 290381.343539

OS Grid: SP564903

Mapcode National: GBR 8NY.R7C

Mapcode Global: VHCT6.P69W

Entry Name: Moated site and fishponds south-east of St Mary's Church

Scheduled Date: 25 February 1953

Last Amended: 7 April 1993

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1009173

English Heritage Legacy ID: 17040

County: Leicestershire

Civil Parish: Ashby Magna

Traditional County: Leicestershire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Leicestershire

Church of England Parish: Ashby Magna St Mary

Church of England Diocese: Leicester


The moated site at Ashby Magna lies south-east of the village, 100m from the
parish church, and includes a fishpond complex.
The moat is sub-circular with an island measuring 38m x 28m. The partly
waterlogged ditch is up to 12m wide and 3m deep, opening out on the eastern
side to form a fishpond 25m wide. On the northern side of the moat is an
outer bank 8m wide and 1m high. To the south are three further dry fishponds
adjoining a stream which runs south-north and also fed by a spring lying to
the south-west. Two fishponds lie on the western side of the stream, the
northerly one measuring 25m x 33m and the second 28m x 35m with banks on the
western side up to 2m in height and a dividing bank 1m high and 8m wide. The
southern fishpond is waterlogged but does not contain standing water. On the
eastern side of the stream is a fishpond measuring 50m x 25m which is at a
higher level than those to the west and is defined by a bank 6m wide and 0.5m
high. This pond was fed by a channel from a spring to the east.

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.

Unusually for Leicestershire the moated site at Ashby Magna is circular in
shape. The association of well preserved fishponds adds considerable
potential for the survival of waterlogged environmental and archaeological
remains at this site.

Source: Historic England

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