Ancient Monuments

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Moated monastic grange 300m south west of Winsetts Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Skeffling, East Riding of Yorkshire

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Latitude: 53.6406 / 53°38'26"N

Longitude: 0.0869 / 0°5'12"E

OS Eastings: 538062.192722

OS Northings: 418036.621025

OS Grid: TA380180

Mapcode National: GBR YV1B.MN

Mapcode Global: WHJJM.9RMD

Entry Name: Moated monastic grange 300m south west of Winsetts Farm

Scheduled Date: 14 March 1997

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1015309

English Heritage Legacy ID: 26609

County: East Riding of Yorkshire

Civil Parish: Skeffling

Built-Up Area: Skeffling

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): East Riding of Yorkshire

Church of England Parish: Easington with Skeffling All Saints

Church of England Diocese: York


The monument includes a large rectangular moated monastic grange 300m south
west of Winsetts Farm.
The monument measures 190m north-south by 100m east-west. It was formerly
one of a pair of moated sites, with a smaller moat situated near the modern
farm house further to the north. This moat is now largely destroyed. The two
moats were connected by a north-south feeder dyke which has since been
converted into a modern field drain.
The monument survives well on its eastern and southern sides, where the broad
`U' shaped moat ditches survive between 8m and 10m wide across their
tops, 4m-5m across their bases and 1.25m deep. The remains of a low
interior bank survives on the eastern side of the northern moat arm.
The western moat arm has been modified to form a modern field drain and the
western half of the northern arm has been infilled.
The remains of a building platform survives towards the centre of the
moated island, together with what is thought to be an access leading from
an entrance on the east side of the site. Building debris, including large
cobbles, medieval tiles and red brick from the building which occupied the
moat island are found scattered across the central island area and along the
edges of the eastern moat arm. A fishpond in the north west corner of the
moat, dating from the same period as the building, survives as a buried
This moated site and the smaller moat near the modern farm house to the
north formed a grange of Thornton Abbey. Thornton Abbey held land in Skeffling
by 1190, when the gift of a `bovate' was made by one Ingram de Mariners.
Later, the gift of half a bovate and a toft was confirmed in 1301 by Stephen
de Plesingham and the Abbey had a grant of free warren at Winsetts the same
year. Post and wire fences 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 south west of Winsetts Farm, is an example of a large
rectangular moat, and one of the few of its kind surviving this far east in
East Yorkshire, so close to the coastline. There is also historical evidence
that it once formed part of a monastic grange. A monastic grange was a farm
owned and run by a monastic community and independent of the secular manorial
system of communal agriculture and servile labour whose function was to
provide food and raw materials for consumption within the parent monastic
house itself. Although several thousand such sites are originally believed to
have existed, only a small percentage can be accurately located on the ground
today and given the continued intensive use of agricultural land across time,
many of these survive poorly, or have been destroyed. In view of the
importance of granges to medieval rural and monastic life, all sites
exhibiting good archaeological survival are identified as nationally
Although partly modified the monument will retain evidence of the structures
which originally occupied it. The moat arms remain unexcavated and will thus
retain environmental evidence from the original fills relating to the period
of the monument's construction.
The monument is one of a number of moated sites in East Yorkshire,
representing a typical form of settlement of low-lying and flood plain land in
the medieval period.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Le Patourel, H.E J, 'Monograph Series No 5' in The Moated Sites of Yorkshire, (1973), 117
Le Patourel, H.E J, 'Monograph Series No 5' in The Moated Sites of Yorkshire, (1973), 117
Humberside SMR, Sites and Monuments Record Sheet, (1996)

Source: Historic England

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