Ancient Monuments

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Moated site and fishpond 140m south of St Helen's Church

A Scheduled Monument in Skipwith, North Yorkshire

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Latitude: 53.8375 / 53°50'14"N

Longitude: -1.0031 / 1°0'11"W

OS Eastings: 465699.473089

OS Northings: 438376.626509

OS Grid: SE656383

Mapcode National: GBR PSF2.M3

Mapcode Global: WHFCQ.KSKZ

Entry Name: Moated site and fishpond 140m south of St Helen's Church

Scheduled Date: 11 July 1997

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1015543

English Heritage Legacy ID: 28250

County: North Yorkshire

Civil Parish: Skipwith

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): North Yorkshire

Church of England Parish: Skipwith St Helen

Church of England Diocese: York


The monument includes a moated site visible as a rectangular platform and
surrounding ditch with an `L' shaped fishpond attached to the west. The
monument lies on a gentle slope south of the village of Skipwith.
The moat ditch has a `U' shaped profile, and varies in width from 9.55m in the
west to 12.25m in the south. It encloses a central, level platform measuring
46m north to south by 38m east to west. On the northern side there is a 2m
wide causeway which links the platform to the surrounding land.
The fishpond takes the form of a wide `L'shaped ditch with prominent raised
sides along most of its length. The north-south arm is 54m long and increases
in width from 5m at the north to 9.5m at the south angle. The east-west arm is
42m in length and varies in width from 12m to 15m. It was originally linked
directly to the west arm of the moat, and it is thought that it also served to
feed and regulate the water supply to the moat. The area where the moat and
fishpond join was infilled in the mid-20th century.
From c.1400 to 1709 the manor of Skipwith was held by the Skipwith family, and
it has been suggested that the manor house occupied the moat platform until
the 17th century. In 1657 the house or hall was demolished and a cottage
called Moat Hall was built which stood on the site until the 20th century.

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.

A fishpond is an artificially created pool of slow moving freshwater
constructed for the purpose of cultivating, breeding and storing fish to
provide a constant and sustainable supply of food. They were maintained by a
water management system which included inlet and outlet channels carrying
water from a river or stream, and sluices and overflow leats which controlled
fluctuations in the water flow.
The moated site at Skipwith survives well and significant archaeological
remains will be preserved within the platform and the accumulated silts of the
ditches. The site had an integrated water management system using ponds for
the exploitation of fish and to regulate the water supply to the moat. Thus
the site offers important scope for the study of the economic and domestic
arrangements of medieval moated sites and their role in the wider landscape.

Source: Historic England


Title: Park Farm Skipworth Presentation Survey
Source Date: 1993

Title: Park Farm Skipworth Presentation Survey
Source Date: 1993

Source: Historic England

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