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Moated site and ridge and furrow cultivation 230m south east of Manor Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Scackleton, North Yorkshire

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Latitude: 54.1453 / 54°8'43"N

Longitude: -1.0096 / 1°0'34"W

OS Eastings: 464790.06191

OS Northings: 472616.330735

OS Grid: SE647726

Mapcode National: GBR PNDH.6S

Mapcode Global: WHFBC.G2GG

Entry Name: Moated site and ridge and furrow cultivation 230m south east of Manor Farm

Scheduled Date: 2 January 1997

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1015491

English Heritage Legacy ID: 28220

County: North Yorkshire

Civil Parish: Scackleton

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): North Yorkshire

Church of England Parish: Hovingham All Saints

Church of England Diocese: York


The monument includes a moated site visible as a water-filled ditch enclosing
a central platform of dry land and an adjacent enclosure or garth, situated
on undulating land in the Howardian Hills. Also included in the monument is an
area of the surrounding land where extensive ridge and furrow earthworks from
the medieval period still survive.
The moated platform is almost square in plan and measures 53m by 44m across.
On the platform are a series of earthworks representing the remains of
building foundations. A raised bank extends around most of the platform
perimeter with more substantial earthworks at the south, west and north
The surrounding moat is 10m wide and up to 1.5m deep. It was fed by a small
leat leading from a brook running south west to north east past the north of
the moat and a shallow gully extending from the north east corner of the ditch
appears to be the overflow-outlet channel. The moat has an external bank on
all sides which is most substantial on the south west and south east sides.
The entrance to the moat appears to be on the north east side where both the
internal and external banks are at their lowest. On the south east side the
moat has been widened in the post-medieval period to build a reservoir for
supplying water to nearby Wiganthorpe Hall.
Outside the moat is a complex of banks which formed an integral part of its
layout. There is a small enclosure or garth to the south of the moat. This is
formed by an extension of the eastern external bank of the moat with a second
bank defining the south side and the west side formed by a long bank extending
beyond the corner of the garth for a further 60m. A further bank and parallel
trackway extend from the garth towards the modern village.
The moat and its enclosures were not the earliest features on the site as they
overlie an area of ridge and furrow cultivation to the south of the moat. Two
larger areas of ridge and furrow contemporary with and post-dating the moat
construction lie to the east and south west of the moat.
The establishment of the moat probably dates to the late 13th century when a
manor is know to have existed at Scackleton. The moat would have housed the
medieval manor house which was later replaced by the current Manor Farm house,
formerly called Scackleton Hall, 80m to the north which dates to the early
17th century. After its abandonment the moat may have been modified to be an
ornamental garden feature associated with the later manor house.
The modern sluice and pipework to the south east of the moat and all fences
and walls are excluded from the scheduling although the ground beneath is
included. The ditch at the north of the field west of the moat is not included
in the scheduling.

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.

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.

Medieval moated sites were often at the centre of a wider agricultural and
economic unit. As such the wider complex may have a range of associated
agricultural features adjacent to the moat. These could include structures
such as stables, stores and workshops and remains of agricultural practices
such as paddocks, garths and field systems. The most common form of field
system of the medieval period was known as ridge and furrow. This took the
form of parallel rounded ridges separated by furrows and which provided rich
well drained land for planting crops. Over large areas the system tended to
adopt a characteristic `s' shape to accommodated the turning circle of a
plough team. In small or steep areas where the use of a plough team was
impractical, ridge and furrow would be dug by hand. Although remains of ridge
and furrow are common in some areas of central and southern England it is
becoming rare in the north.
The moated site at Scackleton survives well and significant remains of
medieval buildings will be preserved. The accumulated silts of the moat ditch
will retain important archaeological remains which will assist in the study of
the medieval environment. The survival of ridge and furrow around the moat
will preserve remains of earlier land use beneath it and offers important
scope for understanding the relationship between the moat and its associated
agriculture and add to the understanding of the wider economy of the site.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Foster, C, 32 Moated Sites of Yorkshire, (1993)
Le Patourel, H E J, Moated site of Yorkshire, (1973), 120
Swan, V, Medieval Moated Manor, encs and broad ridge and furrow cultivation, (1987)
McElvaney, M, Howardian Hills AONB Historic Environment Study, (1994)

Source: Historic England

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