Ancient Monuments

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'Cellar Heads' moated site and related ridge and furrow earthworks at Risby Park, 700m north west of Risby Park Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Rowley, East Riding of Yorkshire

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Latitude: 53.8066 / 53°48'23"N

Longitude: -0.4761 / 0°28'34"W

OS Eastings: 500447.725086

OS Northings: 435553.014165

OS Grid: TA004355

Mapcode National: GBR TS3F.Q5

Mapcode Global: WHGF9.NLG5

Entry Name: 'Cellar Heads' moated site and related ridge and furrow earthworks at Risby Park, 700m north west of Risby Park Farm

Scheduled Date: 14 March 1997

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1015312

English Heritage Legacy ID: 26612

County: East Riding of Yorkshire

Civil Parish: Rowley

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): East Riding of Yorkshire

Church of England Parish: Rowley St Peter

Church of England Diocese: York


The monument includes a moated enclosure and associated ridge and furrow
earthworks at Risby Park, situated between Silver Fir and Sodwall Plantations,
700m north west of Risby Park Farm.
The monument is situated on the southern side of a deep sheltered valley, and
includes the remains of three moat arms, or ditches forming three sides of a
rectilinear enclosure. The northern moat arm has been removed by extensive
quarrying activity.
The eastern and western sides of the enclosure are formed by ditches measuring
approximately 75m in length. The western ditch is up to 8m in width and about
1m-1.5m deep. The eastern ditch is narrower and shallower, being around 5m
wide and 0.5m deep. They are joined at the southern end of the monument by
another, partly intact ditch, about 55m long up to 7m wide and 0.5m deep. Two
original entrances, opposing each other, give access across the ditches on the
western and eastern sides at their mid points.
Although quarrying activity has disturbed the interior of the moated enclosure
in some places, it is expected that undisturbed archaeological deposits
relating to the period of the monument's construction will nevertheless still
An area of well preserved ridge and furrow earthworks survives to the east of
the moated enclosure, measuring approximately 60m east west by 75m north
south. The earthworks are thought to be contemporary with the moated site and
are included in the scheduling.
The name `Cellar' is thought to refer to a building of some size and
importance, and given that Sir Ralph Ellerker was responsible for the creation
of a deer park at Risby in the mid-16th century, it is thought that the
monument may be the surviving remains of the mansion where Henry VIII is known
to have stayed.
Post and wire fences, animal feed and water dispensers 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.

Although the moated site at Risby Park has been subject to quarrying
activities in the past, resulting in the destruction of the northern side of
the enclosure and disturbance to the central area of occupation, the
remaining three arms of the moat survive well. Undisturbed deposits relating
to the period of the monument's construction and occupation will remain in the
undisturbed areas, and in the fills of the moat ditches. The site is unusual
and given its size, the reference to `Cellar', and the nearby deer park of
16th century date, it is thought to be the site of a large manor where Henry
VIII once stayed.
The related area of ridge and furrow earthworks survives well, in clear
association with the medieval moated site, another unusual feature which adds
to the importance of the site.

Source: Historic England


Humberside SMR, Sites and Monuments Record Sheet, (1996)

Source: Historic England

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