Ancient Monuments

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Moated site at Upsland Farm

A Scheduled Monument in West Tanfield, North Yorkshire

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Latitude: 54.2132 / 54°12'47"N

Longitude: -1.535 / 1°32'5"W

OS Eastings: 430423.254629

OS Northings: 479817.010753

OS Grid: SE304798

Mapcode National: GBR KMQQ.GG

Mapcode Global: WHC7G.DC9F

Entry Name: Moated site at Upsland Farm

Scheduled Date: 11 July 1997

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1015439

English Heritage Legacy ID: 28251

County: North Yorkshire

Civil Parish: West Tanfield

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): North Yorkshire


The monument includes a moated site comprising an infilled ditch surrounding a
raised central platform and is located on gently undulating land. The current
farm, built on the site of the original occupation, lies at the north end of
the platform.
The site is an unusual elliptical shape with the moat ditch enclosing a
platform measuring 200m north west to south east by 100m north east to south
west. The edge of the platform is clearly identifiable for the entire circuit.
To the south west the outer edge of the ditch has been modified by the
straightening of a field drain. To the south east the ditch can still be
identified as a faint hollow. Elsewhere the ditch has been infilled and can no
longer be clearly identified as an earthwork. It will survive as a buried
feature. On the northern side of the site the ditch has been substantially
widened to form a farm pond. The platform is currently approached by a
causeway at the north which is thought to be the original entrance. There is a
slight earthwork bank crossing the width of the platform dividing it into two
roughly equal enclosures.
The house, outbuildings, barns, walls, fences and the surfaces of all paths
tracks and driveways are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground
beneath 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.

Despite continual occupation of the platform, the moated site at Upsland Farm
survives in a fair condition. It is an unusual shape and significant
archaeological remains will be preserved within the platform and the
accumulated silts in the ditch. The site thus offers important scope for the
study of this class of monument.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Le Patourel, H E J, Moated site of Yorkshire, (1973), 121
Upsland Moated Site,

Source: Historic England

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