Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

This site is entirely user-supported. See how you can help.

Parkshaw moated site, 170m north west of Wood Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Balne, North Yorkshire

We don't have any photos of this monument yet. Why don't you be the first to send us one?

Upload Photo »

Approximate Location Map
Large Map »

If Google Street View is available, the image is from the best available vantage point looking, if possible, towards the location of the monument. Where it is not available, the satellite view is shown instead.


Latitude: 53.6573 / 53°39'26"N

Longitude: -1.1187 / 1°7'7"W

OS Eastings: 458338.748761

OS Northings: 418228.85497

OS Grid: SE583182

Mapcode National: GBR NVM4.LP

Mapcode Global: WHDCH.SBGL

Entry Name: Parkshaw moated site, 170m north west of Wood Farm

Scheduled Date: 24 October 1997

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1016025

English Heritage Legacy ID: 30107

County: North Yorkshire

Civil Parish: Balne

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): North Yorkshire

Church of England Parish: Great Snaith

Church of England Diocese: Sheffield


The monument includes the earthworks of a moated island with two further moat
ditches to the west, situated within the low lying land of the Humber Head
Levels, an area only a few metres above sea level. During the medieval period,
before the extensive drainage works of the 18th and 19th centuries, the land
would have been much more marshy. In this area moats were primarily dug to aid
drainage, with the excavated material used to raise the ground surface of the
enclosed islands to provide drier areas for buildings and small horticultural
The low lying land between Doncaster and the River Aire was held by the
Newmarch family from 1183 and research conducted by the Wood Hall Moated Manor
Project suggests that the area was systematically exploited by this family
throughout the 13th century, with the construction of a series of moated
sites. It is thought that the site is related to another moated site at Manor
Farm, 600m to the south west.
The main axis of the moated island lies approximately north-south and is
about 50m by 20m, surrounded by a moat ditch up to 1.6m deep. The northern
half of the island rises up to 1.3m above the surrounding ground surface (thus
nearly 3m from the bottom of the ditch), with the southern part of the island
being lower, but still 0.4m higher than the ground surface beyond the moat to
the east. There is no evidence of any external banking to the moat ditch and
all of the upcast from the ditch appears to have been placed on the island.
Some low earthworks can be identified on the island which imply the survival
of buried features. To the west of the island there are uncompleted moat
ditches that are considered to have been intended as the boundaries of up to
two further islands. The southern arm of the completed moat extends about
20m further westwards beyond the western side of the island and then turns
northwards for about 35m (slightly diverging from the western side of the
island). The area thus partly enclosed nearly forms a second island. It is
slightly higher than the surrounding ground surface with a definite bank along
its southern side. Its north side is delineated by a separate east-west moat
ditch which starts from about 5m west of the ditch around the island and runs
west for about 60m, 5m north of the northern end of the westernmost north
south ditch. This 60m long ditch has a definite northward pointing corner at
its western end suggesting that it may have been intended as the southern side
of a third island. Upcast on both sides of this ditch forms earthworks about
5m wide and standing up to 0.3m above the surrounding ground surface.

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.

Parkshaw moated site is very well preserved with evidence of surviving buried
features on the island. The moat ditches will retain archaeological remains
such as evidence of bridges together with organic remains. The monument is
unusual in that it appears that the moat was unfinished.

Source: Historic England


Typescript report to SMR, Tomson, Simon , Parkshaw Wood Moat, (1995)

Source: Historic England

Other nearby scheduled monuments is an independent online resource and is not associated with any government department. All government data published here is used under licence. Please do not contact for any queries related to any individual ancient or schedued monument, planning permission related to scheduled monuments or the scheduling process itself. is a Good Stuff website.