Ancient Monuments

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Moated site west of Greystoke

A Scheduled Monument in Greystoke, Cumbria

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Latitude: 54.673 / 54°40'22"N

Longitude: -2.9064 / 2°54'22"W

OS Eastings: 341646.030849

OS Northings: 531263.57734

OS Grid: NY416312

Mapcode National: GBR 8G4D.KM

Mapcode Global: WH812.BS8Y

Entry Name: Moated site west of Greystoke

Scheduled Date: 23 February 1973

Last Amended: 20 June 1995

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1012828

English Heritage Legacy ID: 23775

County: Cumbria

Civil Parish: Greystoke

Traditional County: Cumberland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cumbria

Church of England Parish: Greystoke

Church of England Diocese: Carlisle


The monument includes a medieval moated site situated in Greystoke Park on a
gently sloping hillside plateau above Summerground Gill. It includes a
platform or island largely surrounded by a moat, now dry, which is partly
flanked by an outer bank. The island has maximum dimensions of 140m north west
- south east by 82m north east - south west. On the western side of the
island, a little north of centre, there is a rectangular building platform
measuring approximately 25m by 20m that indicates the site of the house which
originally occupied the island. Elsewhere on the island there is a series of
linear drainage ditches constructed to channel water into the surrounding
moat. The moat survives best on the western side and the southern half of the
eastern side. At these points it measures up to 3m wide by 1.3m deep and is
flanked by inner and outer banks. An outlet channel 0.5m wide is cut through
the outer bank at the south east corner to allow water to drain down the steep
hillslope. On the south side a small plantation partly overlies the moat and
its outer bank. On the northern side a natural stream formed the northern arm
of the moat while on the north east side a steep slope down to a tributary of
Summerground Gill precluded the need for a moat and its flanking earthworks.
Access to the island was gained by an entrance on the midpoint of the western
All field boundaries are excluded from the scheduling but the ground beneath
them is included.

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.

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 west of Greystoke survives reasonably well, its earthworks
remaining well preserved. It is largely unencumbered by modern development and
will retain evidence for the building that originally occupied the island. Its
location on a hillslope is unusual for this type of monument.

Source: Historic England


Cumbria SMR, Enclosed settlement west of Greystoke, (1987)
FMW Report, Crow, J, Enclosed settlement west of Greystoke, (1991)

Source: Historic England

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