Ancient Monuments

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Moated site and fishpond, 1km ENE of Sewingshields on Fozy Moss

A Scheduled Monument in Simonburn, Northumberland

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Latitude: 55.0305 / 55°1'49"N

Longitude: -2.2867 / 2°17'12"W

OS Eastings: 381771.380047

OS Northings: 570695.5975

OS Grid: NY817706

Mapcode National: GBR DBG8.QJ

Mapcode Global: WH90R.VT8G

Entry Name: Moated site and fishpond, 1km ENE of Sewingshields on Fozy Moss

Scheduled Date: 22 March 1949

Last Amended: 4 March 1994

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1011080

English Heritage Legacy ID: 20981

County: Northumberland

Civil Parish: Simonburn

Traditional County: Northumberland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Northumberland

Church of England Parish: Simonburn

Church of England Diocese: Newcastle


The monument includes an unusual moated site of medieval date and an
associated causeway, situated in a flat, low-lying position on an area of open
moorland. The moated site, roughly oval in shape, is enclosed by a ditch 5.5m
wide and 1.8m deep, with a well-preserved outer bank standing to a maximum of
1.8m high. There is an entrance 3.5m wide through the ditch and bank at the
south-west. The interior of the enclosure has been raised substantially above
ground level; on it, there are traces of buildings represented by three
circular depressions and faint traces of banks. One of the depressions is
particularly well formed and is situated at the extreme southern point of the
monument. The northern part of the moated site contains a waterlogged circular
depression 2.8m deep and 20m in diameter; this is interpreted as a fishpond,
a feature often found in association with moated sites. A slightly raised
causeway measuring 3.5m wide leads away from the entrance of the enclosure in
a south-westerly direction across the surrounding marsh for 60m, before it is
truncated by a drainage ditch. The moated site was possibly associated with
the medieval manor of Sewingshields and Sewingshields Castle, situated 600m to
the west.

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 moated site on Fozy Moss is exceptionally well preserved and is of unusual
construction and form. Moated sites are uncommon in Northumberland.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Jobey, G, 'Archaeologia Aeliana, 4, 39' in Further Notes on Rectilinear Settlements in Northumberland, (1961), 96-97
NY 87 SW 19,
Wrathmell, S, Deserted and Shrunken Villages in Southern Northumberland, 1975, Unpublished phD Thesis

Source: Historic England

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