Ancient Monuments

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Tilts moated site

A Scheduled Monument in Thorpe in Balne, Doncaster

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Coordinates

Latitude: 53.577 / 53°34'37"N

Longitude: -1.1382 / 1°8'17"W

OS Eastings: 457157.781494

OS Northings: 409283.402498

OS Grid: SE571092

Mapcode National: GBR NWH2.CG

Mapcode Global: WHDCW.HC63

Entry Name: Tilts moated site

Scheduled Date: 7 June 1991

Last Amended: 3 February 1995

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1012303

English Heritage Legacy ID: 13230

County: Doncaster

Civil Parish: Thorpe in Balne

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): South Yorkshire

Church of England Parish: Arksey All Saints

Church of England Diocese: Sheffield

Details

Tilts moated site consists of two roughly rectangular islands divided and
surrounded by a water-filled moat, varying between 10 and 15m wide. The
north island measures c.100m x 50m and is joined to the southern by a narrow
causeway across the central ditch. The south island measures c.75m x 40m
and contains the present house, a part of which appears to be 17th century.
The south arm of the moat is largely filled in and partially overlain by later
buildings. Another section of filled-in moat once linked the central ditch and
the west arm of the northern circuit, which itself has been recut and is now
represented by a wide waterlogged ditch bordering the lane to the west.
Traditionally the monument is thought to have been a monastic site but this
has not been substantiated. Certainly, it is likely to have controlled the
medieval manorial estate of Tilts. The remains of the earlier manor are
believed to underlie the present house and work carried out on the north
island in c.1986 revealed large stone blocks thought to be part of the
foundations of an ancillary building. Also found was a section of paved road
coming in from the north.
A number of features within the area are excluded from the scheduling; these
are all buildings, modern structures and features, fences and surfaces of
paths and drives; the ground beneath all these features is, however, included.
Also included is the ditch bordering the lane to the west, as further
recutting of this will affect the deposits in this part of the moat.

MAP EXTRACT
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 size of Tilts moated site suggests it was a medieval manor of some
importance. Extensive areas of undisturbed deposits will survive under
pasture on the north island, where building foundations and a paved road
have already been located, and under the garden on the south island, which
has only been minimally disturbed by building. In addition, being largely
water-filled, the moat will contain preserved organic and
palaeoenvironmental material.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Books and journals
Le Patourel, H E J, Moated site of Yorkshire, (1973)
Magilton, J, The Doncaster District, (1977)

Source: Historic England

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