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Manorial earthworks and fishponds in Rise Park, including the site of Black Hall and Mote Hill

A Scheduled Monument in Rise, East Riding of Yorkshire

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Latitude: 53.8591 / 53°51'32"N

Longitude: -0.2573 / 0°15'26"W

OS Eastings: 514714.591327

OS Northings: 441726.159042

OS Grid: TA147417

Mapcode National: GBR VRNT.3C

Mapcode Global: WHHGC.08RD

Entry Name: Manorial earthworks and fishponds in Rise Park, including the site of Black Hall and Mote Hill

Scheduled Date: 14 March 1997

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1015919

English Heritage Legacy ID: 26604

County: East Riding of Yorkshire

Civil Parish: Rise

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): East Riding of Yorkshire

Church of England Parish: Rise All Saints

Church of England Diocese: York


The monument includes earthwork remains of the manorial complex of Rise with
associated fishponds and the site of Black Hall and Mote Hill.
Black Hall was the seat of the Faulconbergs, who held the manor of Rise from
the time of the Norman Conquest for nearly 400 years. The manor and associated
medieval settlement of Rise or `Risvn' is mentioned in the Domesday Survey,
and was originally larger than it is today. Crop marks seen from aerial
photographs indicate the original settlement to have been extensive,
stretching as far as North Farm, north east of present day Rise, down to the
southern limits of the earthwork remains around Blackhall Hill and Mote Hill
described here. The earthwork remains of the shrunken medieval village of Rise
are separated from the manorial earthworks by the post-medieval buildings and
park of Rise Hall.
The monument includes what are interpreted as building platforms, fishponds,
water management channels, fields and related earthworks located in the north
western corner of Rise Park, north of Rise Wood, an area defined by the road
which leads from Sigglesthorpe in the north to North Skirlaugh in the south,
which makes a right angled `dog leg' around the earthworks. A pronounced bank
with exterior ditch surrounds the complex on the western and
northern side. On the western side the bank is c.200m long with a break
towards its southern end. Along the north side of the site, the bank is 50m
long. The exterior ditch is `U' shaped in profile and about 1.5m in depth, 10m
wide at its top and 2m wide at its base. The bank is between 5m and 8m wide
and between 1m and 1.5m high and is interpreted as forming an original
boundary feature of Black Hall, with the deep ditch to its north and west
acting as a conduit for the drainage of water away from the manorial
The configuration of the earthwork features of the site indicates that the
manorial complex here took advantage of the natural topography of the land,
with the buildings being located on higher ground at the north and east side
of the monument, with water management ditches and drainage features running
through the centre and draining to the west.
The site of Black Hall is a rectangular flat-topped scarped hillock, around
30m square, situated in the north eastern corner of the park. No remains of a
building survive above ground, although building debris of brick and tile has
been found here and further remains will survive beneath the present ground
The fishponds and other water management channels lie some 50m to the south of
the site of the manor, at the southern edge of the higher ground, and surround
another platform area of about 30m square. Three oval ponds orientated
approximately north-south lie to the east of the platform, the first measuring
some 30m long by 5m wide, the second 20m by 8m and the third 15m long by 7m
wide. Another pond lies parallel to these but to the west of the platform and
is 20m long by 7m wide, and also orientated in the same direction,
approximately north-south. An elongated depression to the north of the
platform here, 25m long by 5m wide and orientated north-south, is also
interpreted as being part of the fishpond and water management complex in this
area. A long ditch, 130m long by 10m wide runs due north-south to link with
the ponds at the eastern side of the earthwork complex and is also interpreted
as a water management feature.
Mote Hill is also included in the earthwork complex. It lies at the western
side of the monument close to the modern road. It includes a flat topped and
steeply scarped natural hillock measuring about 40m north-south by 26m east-
west and is up to 3m in height. It is thought to be a `moot', or meeting
place, rather than an actual motte as it was once believed to be, although
other reports mention it as being the site of a former hunting lodge.
Other earthwork features include a raised platform area, interpreted as an
embanked, raised field, some 115m square and about 1m high to the south west
of the complex, defined in the north by an east-west scarp and to the east by
a north-south bank up to 6m wide. There are other earthwork remains of banks
and ditches included in the monument, which are interpreted as trackways,
lynchets and water management features designed to drain water away from the
central low-lying parts of the site.
Modern 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

Medieval manorial settlements, comprising small groups of houses with
associated gardens, yards and paddocks, supported communities devoted
primarily to agriculture, and acted as the foci for manorial administration.
Although the sites of many of these settlements have been occupied
continuously down to the present day, many others declined in size or were
abandoned at some time during the medieval and post-medieval periods,
particularly during the 14th and 15th centuries. The reasons for desertion
were varied but often reflected declining economic viability, changes in land-
use such as enclosure or emparkment, or population fluctuations as a result of
widespread epidemics such as the Black Death. As a consequence of their
abandonment, these settlements are frequently undisturbed by later occupation
and contain well-preserved archaeological deposits, providing information on
the diversity of medieval settlement patterns and farming economy, and on the
structure and changing fortunes of manorial communities.

Manorial centres were an important foci of medieval rural life. They served as
prestigious aristocractic or seignorial residences, the importance of their
inhabitants being reflected in the quality and elaboration of their buildings.
Local agricultural and village life was normally closely regulated by the lord
of the manor, and hence the inhabitants of these sites had a controlling
interest in many aspects of medieval life. Manorial sites could take on many
forms. In many areas of the country the buildings were located within a moat,
the latter being intended to impress further the status of the site on the
wider population. Other manors, like `Risvn', were not moated, their status
being indicated largely by the quality of their buildings. This latter group
of manorial centres are the most difficult to identify today because the sites
were not enclosed by major earthwork features, such as a moat, which may
survive well, and the original buildings often exhibited a fairly unplanned
layout which could extend over a large area. Continued use of the site has
also in many instances led to the destruction of medieval remains. Hence
examples of medieval manorial centres of this type which can be positively
identified and demonstrated to have extensive surviving archaeological remains
are relatively rare.
The surviving earthwork remains of Blackhall, the fishponds and other related
earthworks indicate a manorial complex of large size and some importance.
There is little evidence of post-medieval disturbance, and the archaeological
deposits will therefore survive in good condition, and be able to yield
further information on this form of medieval rural settlement in the East
Riding of Yorkshire.

Source: Historic England


BNR91, Dennison, E and Hemblade, M, Sites and Monuments Record Sheet Plan, (1990)
BNR91, Dennison, E and Hemblade, M, Sites and Monuments Record Sheet Plan, (1990)
Colour print ref 27/07/88, Dent, John, (1988)
Humberside SMR, Sites and Monuments Record Sheet, (1996)

Source: Historic England

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