Ancient Monuments

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Thorpe in Balne moated site, chapel and fishpond

A Scheduled Monument in Thorpe in Balne, Doncaster

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Latitude: 53.5934 / 53°35'36"N

Longitude: -1.0963 / 1°5'46"W

OS Eastings: 459911.111729

OS Northings: 411138.197927

OS Grid: SE599111

Mapcode National: GBR NVSW.GL

Mapcode Global: WHFDV.4Y73

Entry Name: Thorpe in Balne moated site, chapel and fishpond

Scheduled Date: 5 October 1979

Last Amended: 10 July 1991

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1012111

English Heritage Legacy ID: 13220

County: Doncaster

Civil Parish: Thorpe in Balne

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): South Yorkshire

Church of England Parish: Barnby Dun St Peter and St Paul

Church of England Diocese: Sheffield


Thorpe in Balne moat consists of a large rectangular island, measuring
c.140m east to west and c.120m north to south, and a surrounding moat c.10m
wide, largely dry and partly filled in on the south side to provide access
to New Marche House and the farmyard. Several fishponds are to be seen on
the island, one a linear depression running north to south across the centre
of the island which joins, at its northern end, a dry 2m deep fishpond which
lies in the NE corner of the site and has a sluice leading into the east arm
of the moat. A third fishpond, now filled in, can be seen in the NW corner
where the grass varies in colour from that round about, and others may be
represented by areas of earthwork and infill in the garden behind the
house. Another fishpond, now sliced through by the road, exists to the south
of the island and was an extension of the east arm of the moat. To the south
of the house, amongst the farm buildings, is the chancel of a twelfth
century chapel, the nave of which was demolished in the nineteenth century.
The footings of its south wall, with two buttresses, can be seen in the cow
byre. The chapel is thought to have been built by Otto de Tilli who was
granted the manor of Thorpe in Balne by William Vavasor in the mid twelfth
century. The manor later passed through the hands of the Newmarches, the
Gascoigns and the Wentworths. The chapel lost its endowment at the time of
the Reformation. It is now a Grade II* Listed Building and is also
scheduled. All modern buildings, surfaces, structures and fencing, and two
telegraph poles and their stays are excluded from the scheduling. All the
ground beneath, however, is included.
The monument is divided by a modern road into two separate areas.

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 Thorpe in Balne example was an important medieval manorial site. Its
historical associations are documented and it is unusual in having a
medieval chapel on site that was used as the parish church of Thorpe in
Balne until the loss of its endowment in 1556. Although somewhat disturbed
by post-medieval building and activity, substantial remains will survive
beneath the modern buildings on the island, and across the whole of the

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Hunter, J, South Yorkshire , (1831), 218-219
Le Patourel, H E J, Moated site of Yorkshire, (1973), 128
Magilton, J, The Doncaster District, (1977), 74/93-4

Source: Historic England

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