Ancient Monuments

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Atlow moated site, enclosures and causeway

A Scheduled Monument in Atlow, Derbyshire

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Latitude: 53.0334 / 53°2'0"N

Longitude: -1.663 / 1°39'46"W

OS Eastings: 422695.616339

OS Northings: 348510.558688

OS Grid: SK226485

Mapcode National: GBR 59Y.SGG

Mapcode Global: WHCF6.F0BV

Entry Name: Atlow moated site, enclosures and causeway

Scheduled Date: 4 October 1995

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1011620

English Heritage Legacy ID: 23297

County: Derbyshire

Civil Parish: Atlow

Traditional County: Derbyshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Derbyshire

Church of England Parish: Atlow St Philip and St James

Church of England Diocese: Derby


The monument is situated on the north west side of Henmore Brook and includes
a moated site, two banked enclosures and a raised track or causeway which
leads to the moat from the north west and separates the enclosures. The moated
site comprises a roughly square platform measuring 36m by 38m surrounded by a
10m wide moat with a 1m high outer bank. A channel leads from the southern
corner of the moat to the brook and would have acted as a drain for water
soaking into the moat from the slope to the north west. It is unlikely that
the moat was ever entirely waterfilled. On the north west side of the moat,
there is a semi-circular indentation in the edge of the platform. This lies
opposite the causeway and indicates the site of a bridge across the moat.
In the middle of the moat there is a dressed gritstone block interpreted as
part of a bridge support. The causeway is c.4m wide and extends northwards for
c.80m. The enclosures, which are each c.80m square, are too overgrown for any
features to be discerned, but they would have been the sites of ancillary
buildings associated with the moated homestead. It is recorded that, in very
dry weather, the outlines of buildings can also be seen on the moated
Documentary evidence indicates that the site was, at one time, the home of the
Atlow family and passed by marriage to the Okeovers. Under the Okeovers it was
held by the Parkers, a junior branch of the Atlow family.
Excluded from the scheduling is a septic tank, although the ground beneath it
is included.

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 at Atlow is a well preserved example of a small homestead moat
where additional features survive outside the moat itself, demonstrating the
diversity of this class of monument. The monument has suffered only minimal
disturbance since it was abandoned and retains the buried remains of buildings
and other features throughout. Well preserved organic and environmental
remains will also survive in the waterlogged deposits of the moat.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
The Victoria History of the County of Derby: Volume I, (1905), 388
Jeayes, IH, Descriptive Catalogue of Derbyshire Charters, (1906), 149-55
Craven, D. and Drage, C., Moated Sites List, 1982, SMR

Source: Historic England

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