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Moated site, fishponds and associated earthworks at Manor House

A Scheduled Monument in Skirpenbeck, East Riding of Yorkshire

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Latitude: 54.0063 / 54°0'22"N

Longitude: -0.8572 / 0°51'25"W

OS Eastings: 474998.424775

OS Northings: 457296.737699

OS Grid: SE749572

Mapcode National: GBR QQG3.7M

Mapcode Global: WHFC0.TK0L

Entry Name: Moated site, fishponds and associated earthworks at Manor House

Scheduled Date: 8 April 1997

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1015614

English Heritage Legacy ID: 26602

County: East Riding of Yorkshire

Civil Parish: Skirpenbeck

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): East Riding of Yorkshire

Church of England Parish: Skirpenbeck

Church of England Diocese: York


The monument includes a moated site at Manor House, on the eastern end of the
village of Skirpenbeck, immediately to the north of St Mary's Church.
The moated site is large and complex, and lies within a wider group which
included fishponds and a series of water-management channels. Many of these
features have been infilled but will survive as buried features and
are thus included in the scheduling.
The central island of the site is on a large raised platform nearly a hectare
in area, about 5m above the present day ground level and surrounded by a moat.
Towards the north western side of the platform lies Manor Farm, a building of
post-medieval date, although the original occupation of the moated site is
thought to date to the reign of Edward I. The design of the moat has taken
advantage of a west-east flowing stream immediately to its north. To the north
of the platform lay a series of fishponds, which have been recently infilled,
and are now no longer visible, although they will survive as buried features.
Further to the west of the moat lay other earthwork features related to the
moat, including banks, ditches and drainage features. The latter have all been
infilled recently, but will still survive as buried features and are included
in the scheduling.
The two best-surviving arms of the moat lie either side of the modern farm
complex, to the east and the west, divided from one another by an original
entrance and causeway to the south, just east of St Mary's Church.
The eastern arm of the moat includes a continuous ditch with exterior bank
curving from the north west to the south east and then turning abruptly west
in a near right-angled bend. This southern, east-west ditch is up to 8m wide
across the top and 1.5m wide at its bottom, being nearly `V' shaped in
profile, and up to 4m deep in places. The exterior bank does not survive well
given the proximity to a field boundary and arable cultivation along its
southern boundary.
The western moat arm is between 12m and 25m wide across the top and 2m-5m
across its base. Its exterior bank, which survives well, is around 2.5m in
height. Towards the northern end of this moat arm, as it starts curving
eastwards to enclose the central platform, it loses definition and has been
almost destroyed above ground by farming activity here.
The remains of a feeder channel linking the southern moat arm to a related
dyke lying further south, parallel with Doe Park Lane, has since been infilled
by ploughing activity, but will also survive as a buried feature, and is
included in the scheduling, as it links the main moat with the drainage
channel described below.
The moat arm surviving to the west of the platform is 4m wide at its base, 10m
wide across the top, 4m deep and 75m overall in length. At its southern end
curving eastwards, and at right angles to it is a low east-west depression
forming the northern boundary to the graveyard of St Mary's Church, and
representing the remains of the south western moat arm leading east towards
the central southern causeway entrance, and the ditches to the eastern
side of the platform. The northern boundary of St Mary's churchyard lies
immediately south of the outer bank of the moated site.
A 250m long ditch orientated east-west lies along the northern side of Doe
Park Lane and is interpreted as a related water feed channel, contemporary
with the main moat, and is included in the scheduling.
Manor House and related farm buildings and the paved surfaces to farm yards,
modern garden features and structures, post and wire fencing and gates,
telegraph poles, 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.

The moated site at Manor Farm, Skirpenbeck, is unusual in its size and
configuration. Although several of the related earthworks, including
associated fishponds and moated channels have been infilled recently, they
will nevertheless survive as buried features. Although the moat island has
been disturbed by the construction of the farm complex, it will nevertheless
retain evidence of the earlier structures which originally occupied it. The
surviving moat ditches remain unexcavated and will thus retain environmental
evidence from the original fills relating to the period of the moat'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
Loughlin, N, Miller, K, Survey of Archaeological Sites in Humberside, (1979), 130
Loughlin, N, Miller, K, Survey of Archaeological Sites in Humberside, (1979), 130
Humberside SMR, Sites and Monuments Record Sheet, (1996)

Source: Historic England

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