Ancient Monuments

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Blue Man's Bower moated site, Whiston

A Scheduled Monument in Whiston, Rotherham

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Latitude: 53.4014 / 53°24'4"N

Longitude: -1.3419 / 1°20'31"W

OS Eastings: 443849.038058

OS Northings: 389597.211399

OS Grid: SK438895

Mapcode National: GBR MY23.8F

Mapcode Global: WHDDK.CR6S

Entry Name: Blue Man's Bower moated site, Whiston

Scheduled Date: 21 June 1991

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1012201

English Heritage Legacy ID: 13232

County: Rotherham

Civil Parish: Whiston

Built-Up Area: Rotherham

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): South Yorkshire

Church of England Parish: Whiston St Mary Magdalene

Church of England Diocese: Sheffield


The main component of Blue Man's Bower moated site is a small rectangular
island, measuring c.12m x 15m, partially excavated in 1939 by C.E.Whiting.
Found at this time were a series of large stones interpreted as padstones
for a barn or similar building. The island seems too small, however, to
have been the site of a house. Surrounding the island is a 5m wide moat with
outer banks to the south-west and south-east and channels leading off at the
south and west corners. These connected with a ditch running parallel with
the south- west arm of the moat. This ditch, a dried-up stream-bed,
indicates that the stream west of the site has been diverted, and that, at
the time the moated site was built, it curved round the site as an outer
moat instead of running past it north to south. It is crossed by a causeway
mid-way between the channels coming off the moat and once connected with a
line of infill, visible to the south and now overgrown with trees.
Converging with this filled-in section is another line of infill
representing a former course of the Ulley Brook along which the parish
boundary still runs. Faint earthworks and a line of lush grass running
northwards from the confluence, indicate a string of filled-in fishponds
running north-south across the bend in the stream, thereby creating a bow-
shaped outer enclosure round the moated site. The northernmost fishpond is
still visible as a rectangular reed-filled depression measuring c.50m x 15m.
A telegraph pole and its stays, within the constraint area, are excluded
from the scheduling though the ground underneath 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.

Blue Man's Bower is an unusual example of its class in that a natural
feature has been used to create an outer enclosure round the moated site
itself. Although no longer wet, its moat and fishponds are sufficiently
waterlogged for there to be some survival of organic and palaeoenvironmental
material. In addition, despite the 1939 excavation, undisturbed deposits
remain on the island and also around it, between the moat and the outer

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Le Patourel, H E J, The Moated Sites of Yorkshire, (1973)
Whiting, C E, 'Trans. Hunter Archaeological Society' in Trans. Hunter Archaeological Society, , Vol. V, (1943)

Source: Historic England

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