Ancient Monuments

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Hutton John moated site, moated annexe, possible fishpond and enclosure

A Scheduled Monument in Hutton, Cumbria

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Latitude: 54.6351 / 54°38'6"N

Longitude: -2.8671 / 2°52'1"W

OS Eastings: 344124.261508

OS Northings: 527008.797383

OS Grid: NY441270

Mapcode National: GBR 8GFV.27

Mapcode Global: WH818.XRWJ

Entry Name: Hutton John moated site, moated annexe, possible fishpond and enclosure

Scheduled Date: 8 February 1995

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1013651

English Heritage Legacy ID: 23756

County: Cumbria

Civil Parish: Hutton

Traditional County: Cumberland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cumbria

Church of England Parish: Greystoke

Church of England Diocese: Carlisle


The monument includes a moated site, an adjoining moated annexe, a possible
fishpond, a series of connecting channels and an enclosure. It is located a
short distance to the east of Hutton John pele tower, the moated site, moated
annexe, possible fishpond and some of the connecting channels being situated
on low-lying land, the enclosure and main feeder channels being located on a
steeply sloping hillside immediately to the north. The moated site includes an
island measuring approximately 40m by 33m, at the eastern end of which is an
undulating raised platform upon which are traces of sandstone foundations of
the house which originally occupied the site. Surrounding the island is a
moat, measuring 2.5m-7m wide and now dry, which was fed by an inlet channel at
its north west corner and has outlet channels at its south east and north east
corners. The moat is flanked on all sides except the west by an outer bank up
to 4.5m wide by 1m high that projects westwards beyond the western edge of the
moat for some considerable distance before terminating against higher ground.
Immediately to the north of the outer bank, and running parallel with the
moat's northern arm, is what may be a dry fishpond measuring approximately 40m
long by 6m wide which was fed by two inlet channels at its western and north
western ends. Two outlet channels issue from the `pond': one connects with the
moat's northern arm; the other runs from the pond's eastern end. To the west
of the `pond' and moated island there are traces of a rectangular annexe
containing a raised building platform measuring 14m by 6m and two small
artificially levelled rectangular hollows which are thought to represent the
site of structures. This annexe is surrounded by a dry channel or moat
originally fed by two inlet channels leading from the hillside to the north
and has a connecting channel feeding into the main moat. On the hillside to
the north there are traces of an enclosure, approximately 70m square, with its
east and west boundaries being formed by a stone bank and its north boundary
being defined by a terrace. Elsewhere on the hillside there are water
channels, the main one surviving as a terrace cut diagonally across the
hillside and through the enclosure just described. The feeder channel to the
`pond' runs downhill from this diagonal channel. Close to the foot of the
hillside the diagonal channel connects with the `pond' outlet channel and
nearby two other channels also connect with the `pond' outlet channel.
The moated site is thought to be the precursor of the present pele tower at
Hutton John. Although no documentary evidence for the building of the moated
site exists it is thought to have been abandoned around the end of the
13th or beginning of the 14th century when William de Hoton is thought to have
commenced work on the present site of Hutton John. The moated site is very
low-lying and this factor, along with its location immediately next to a
hillslope, suggests it may always have been damp and poorly drained. Attempts
to remedy this situation may explain the complexity of channels and raised
platforms evident at the site. Ultimately this situation may have led to its
abandonment in favour of the adjacent higher site.
All modern field boundaries and gateposts are excluded from the scheduling but
the ground beneath them 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.

Hutton John moated site, moated annexe, possible fishpond and enclosure
survive well and remain unencumbered by modern development. It will retain
evidence for the buildings which originally occupied the moated platform and
annexe. Additionally the monument has an extensive and complex system of
moats, connecting channels and a possible pond. These features offer the
potential for an understanding of the elaborate medieval water management
system at this site.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Huddleston, F, 'Trans Cumb and West Antiq and Arch Soc. New Ser.' in A Short Description of Hutton John, (1924), 164
Huddleston, F, 'Trans Cumb and West Antiq and Arch Soc. New Ser.' in A Short Description of Hutton John, (1924), 164
Darvill, T., MPP Single Monument Class Description - Moats, (1988)
Dennison, E., MPP Single Monument Class Descriptions - Fishponds, (1988)
SMR No. 1142, Cumbria SMR, Hutton John Park, (1985)
SMR No.1142, Cumbria SMR, Hutton John Park, (1985)

Source: Historic England

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