Ancient Monuments

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Snittlegarth moated site

A Scheduled Monument in Bewaldeth and Snittlegarth, Cumbria

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Latitude: 54.7262 / 54°43'34"N

Longitude: -3.2182 / 3°13'5"W

OS Eastings: 321638.11651

OS Northings: 537476.978229

OS Grid: NY216374

Mapcode National: GBR 5FZS.1L

Mapcode Global: WH6ZL.JGQQ

Entry Name: Snittlegarth moated site

Scheduled Date: 15 June 1972

Last Amended: 3 August 1995

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1013386

English Heritage Legacy ID: 23795

County: Cumbria

Civil Parish: Bewaldeth and Snittlegarth

Traditional County: Cumberland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cumbria

Church of England Parish: Binsey Team

Church of England Diocese: Carlisle


The monument includes Snittlegarth medieval moated site. It is located on a
small plateau on a gently sloping hillside c.500m south west of Snittlegarth
Farm and includes an island surrounded by a moat which is boggy in places and
which is flanked on its eastern side by an outer bank. The island measures
c.25m by 12m and is raised up to 1m above the surrounding landsurface.
Surrounding the island is a partly waterlogged moat 4m-5m wide and up to 1.5m
deep. The moat is flanked on its eastern side by an outer bank measuring
c.4.5m wide and up to 1m high. Documentary sources dated to 1367 state that
Sir Robert de Tilliol granted land at Ireby `except the site of the manor
house within the water ditches' and thus indicate that the moated site was
occupied during the mid-14th century.
All modern fences 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.

Snittlegarth moated site survives reasonably well, its earthworks in
particular remaining well preserved. It is a good example of a small homestead
moat and will retain evidence for the building that originally occupied the
island during the 14th century. Additionally the waterlogged parts of the moat
will contain organic material.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Curwen, J F, 'Trans Cumb & West Antiq & Arch Soc. Extra Ser.' in Castles and Towers of Cumb, West and Lancs N of the Sands, , Vol. 13, (1913), 45
Graham, T H B, 'Trans Cumb & West Antiq & Arch Soc. New Ser.' in Scaleby, , Vol. XXI, (1921), 148
AM 107. FMW Report, Fairless, K, Snittlegarth Moated site, (1993)
Darvill, T., MPP Single Monument Class Description - Moats, (1988)

Source: Historic England

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