Ancient Monuments

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Claxton medieval moated site

A Scheduled Monument in Greatham, Hartlepool

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Latitude: 54.6421 / 54°38'31"N

Longitude: -1.2634 / 1°15'48"W

OS Eastings: 447635.883529

OS Northings: 527688.394185

OS Grid: NZ476276

Mapcode National: GBR MGMR.8Q

Mapcode Global: WHD6L.KLL5

Entry Name: Claxton medieval moated site

Scheduled Date: 11 October 1989

Last Amended: 4 October 1995

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1013947

English Heritage Legacy ID: 12601

County: Hartlepool

Civil Parish: Greatham

Traditional County: Durham

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): County Durham

Church of England Parish: Greatham

Church of England Diocese: Durham


The site is an example of a moated site of medieval date. The moat encloses a
main island of irregular shape and also a dependent annexe to the east.
Formerly the enclosing earthworks stood to a height of over 1m in places.
These however have suffered plough damage and are now virtually ploughed out.
Despite this it is known that substantial remains survive intact beneath the
present ground surface. The evidence of field survey and limited excavation
has indicated that timber and also stone buildings were located on these
enclosed platforms. Significant remains of these are considered to survive
across the whole of the enclosed area. Of particular interest and importance
are the waterlogged deposits containing wood, seeds, leather and other plant
remains also revealed during excavations which remain preserved in the silted
up moat.

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.

This site is an important survival within the Lower Tees Valley. Medieval
moated sites would originally have been more numerous in the area. Intensive
arable agriculture, however, has led to the poor survival of most other
examples. From a national perspective the importance of the site lies in this
regional rarity. Of particular note are the waterlogged remains known to
remain preserved within its enclosing ditches.

Source: Historic England


Cleveland County Archaeological Unit, Re Claxton moated site,
Copied from file 8123/1 pt4, Ordnance Survey, Note to accompany rescue grant application, 1984 - NZ 42 NE 6, (1984)

Source: Historic England

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