Ancient Monuments

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Moated site at Manor Farm, Portington

A Scheduled Monument in Eastrington, East Riding of Yorkshire

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Latitude: 53.7675 / 53°46'3"N

Longitude: -0.8069 / 0°48'24"W

OS Eastings: 478741.233262

OS Northings: 430789.135577

OS Grid: SE787307

Mapcode National: GBR QSTW.36

Mapcode Global: WHFD6.KKZM

Entry Name: Moated site at Manor Farm, Portington

Scheduled Date: 31 January 1997

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1015304

English Heritage Legacy ID: 26601

County: East Riding of Yorkshire

Civil Parish: Eastrington

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): East Riding of Yorkshire

Church of England Parish: Eastrington St Michael

Church of England Diocese: York


The monument includes a moated site at Manor Farm, Portington. The site dates
from the 11th century, and includes a large, raised rectangular platform area
with dimensions of 160m north-south by 135m east-west. The platform is
surrounded on its four sides by moat ditches. Overall the site has
dimensions of 180m north-south by 150m east-west.
The `U' shaped moat ditches range from 7m to 10m wide, across their tops,
and are between 1m and 1.75m deep. The ditches are intact and are surrounded
by an exterior bank which is up to 8m wide and 1.5m high.
There is an original entrance in the centre of the northern moat arm which is
5m wide, and another entrance 10m wide in the opposing side, although this may
not be an original feature.
Within the raised platform area to the south west, there are the remains of
two interior moat channels which nearly meet at right angles. The channel
leading due north from the main southern moat arm is interpreted as a fish
pond, and measures about 50m in length, by 10m in width, and is up to 1.5m
The second channel is at right angles to the western moat arm, and measures
about 75m long, 6m-8m wide and 0.5m deep. Modern farm buildings lie at the
point where the two interior channels may once have met.
On the eastern side of the moat island there now stands a farmhouse dating to
the 18th and 19th centuries. The farmhouse, which is excluded from the
scheduling (although the ground beneath it is included), is situated close to
the original entrance to the moat island at the centre of the northern moat
arm. Although the fabric of this building includes both Georgian and Victorian
features, it was apparently built upon earlier foundations, possibly dating to
the 16th century. This farmhouse is associated with other farm buildings which
occupy parts of the raised central island area, and was once designated a
`Model Farm'. Originally the site was connected with the Manor House,
Portington, the residence of the Portington family for 400 years and who gave
their name to the village here. Sir John Portington was a justice of the
King's Bench in the first half of the 15th century. His son Thomas held
several ecclesiastical appointments including the provostry of Beverley.
All farm buildings and associated farm structures, post and wire fencing and
gates, animal feed and water dispensers, telegraph poles, the paved surface to
modern access roads are excluded from the scheduling, although 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.

The moated site at Manor Farm, Portington is one unusually large for this
area of Yorkshire. It is in good condition and although the main island has
modern buildings located there, it will nevertheless retain evidence of the
earlier structures which originally occupied it. The surrounding moat survives
well, and will 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.
The monument is part of the recorded history of the locality, with occupation
here probably back to the 12th century.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Bulmer, T, History and Directory of East Yorkshire, (1892), 597
Durham, S, Application to Restore & Modernise 'Manor Farm House' Portington, (1994)
Le Patourel, H.E J, 'Monograph Series No 5' in The Moated Sites of Yorkshire, (1973), 115

Source: Historic England

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