Ancient Monuments

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Moated site and fishponds NNW of St James' Church

A Scheduled Monument in Twycross, Leicestershire

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Latitude: 52.642 / 52°38'31"N

Longitude: -1.5021 / 1°30'7"W

OS Eastings: 433786.6477

OS Northings: 305035.3464

OS Grid: SK337050

Mapcode National: GBR 6J9.C1Z

Mapcode Global: WHCH0.WVWF

Entry Name: Moated site and fishponds NNW of St James' Church

Scheduled Date: 4 January 1993

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1012524

English Heritage Legacy ID: 17064

County: Leicestershire

Civil Parish: Twycross

Traditional County: Leicestershire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Leicestershire

Church of England Parish: Sheepy with Ratcliffe Culey Sibson, Orton-on-the-Hill and Twycross

Church of England Diocese: Leicester


The monument at Twycross is located on the north side of the village and
includes two separate areas: the first containing a moat and fishpond, and
the second situated 100m to the north containing two fishponds.

The moated site is rectangular and measures 55m x 65m overall. The moat ditch
is mainly dry with the exception of part of the northern arm. It measures an
average of 1m deep and 10m wide but widens out considerably in the south-
eastern corner and has an entrance causeway, thought to be original, on the
south side. On the north-east side of the moat is a long fishpond, situated
on lower ground, measuring 10m x 45m and up to 2m deep and connected to the
moat by a short channel. The two fishponds in the second area lie parallel to
a stream on its southern bank and had a connecting channel to the stream, now
silted, at the eastern end. The ponds are embanked and measure 10m x 30m and
10m x 35m respectively and about 2m deep, the north-eastern pond containing
water, with a 5m wide causeway between the two.

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 moat and fishponds at Twycross survive well. The earthworks are well
defined and the monument is of high archaeological potential due both to the
lack of disturbance and to waterlogging in part of the moat and one of the
ponds providing conditions favourable to the preservation of organic remains.

Source: Historic England

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