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Moated site 170m north of Wholsea Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Holme upon Spalding Moor, East Riding of Yorkshire

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Latitude: 53.793 / 53°47'34"N

Longitude: -0.724 / 0°43'26"W

OS Eastings: 484152.617913

OS Northings: 433715.758359

OS Grid: SE841337

Mapcode National: GBR RSDL.12

Mapcode Global: WHFD1.VXFM

Entry Name: Moated site 170m north of Wholsea Farm

Scheduled Date: 14 March 1997

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1015302

English Heritage Legacy ID: 26599

County: East Riding of Yorkshire

Civil Parish: Holme upon Spalding Moor

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): East Riding of Yorkshire

Church of England Parish: Holme-on-Spalding Moor

Church of England Diocese: York


The monument includes a moated site 170m north west of Wholsea Farm. The
moated site includes a large, slightly irregular, quadrangular raised platform
area with dimensions of 105m north-south by 93m east-west, surrounded on its
four sides by moat ditches. Overall the site measures 125m north-south by 113m
The `U' shaped moat ditches range from between 8m-12m wide, across their tops,
and each are around 1m deep. They are intact on all sides and are surrounded
by low exterior banks. Along the western arm, but elsewhere, there is also
evidence of interior banks up to 1m in height.
Within the raised platform there are the remains of two channels 30m apart,
both at a right angle to the main northern moat ditch. The eastern of these
channels is up to 10m wide in places, 0.5m deep and 50m long, and is
interpreted as the remains of a fishpond. The second, western channel is
narrower, being about 5m wide but it too is 50m long, however its southern end
is less clearly defined than the eastern channel. These channels may mark an
interior division on the moat platform.
There are a number of low raised, platform-like areas and other undulations on
the moat platform indicative of structural remains associated with the
occupation of the moat.
An inlet channel is located in the north western corner of site, and is
included in the scheduling. The remains of what is thought to be an outlet
channel is located at the opposing south eastern corner of the moat, but this
is not included in the scheduling owing to the uncertainty of its date and
association as a related feature.
The remains of medieval ridge and furrow cultivation is visible as crop marks
on aerial photographs to the south of the site, but this area is not included
in the scheduling.
The Wholsea moat is not included in the Domesday survey. It is thought to
date to the 12th century AD and to be the site of a Knights Hospitaller
All post and wire fencing and gates, animal feed and water dispensers,
telegraph poles, and the paved surface to modern access roads are excluded
from the scheduling, although the ground beneath all these features is

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 moated site 170m north west of Wholsea Farm, survives in good condition
and as the moat island is unencumbered by modern building it will retain
evidence of the structures which originally occupied it. The surrounding moat
ditches survive well, are undisturbed and will thus retain environmental
evidence relating to the period of the monument's construction.
The monument is one of a number of moated sites in this part of East
Yorkshire, clustering along both the northern and southern sides of the River
Humber, which represent a typical form of settlement of low-lying and flood
plain land such as this in the medieval period. It is recorded as being a
Knights Hospitaller manor of the 12th century, which increases its importance
and rarity as a moated site in this area.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Le Patourel, H.E J, 'Monograph Series No 5' in The Moated Sites of Yorkshire, (1973), 18; 117

Source: Historic England

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