Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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

Brightley Barton moated site

A Scheduled Monument in Chittlehampton, Devon

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: 50.987 / 50°59'13"N

Longitude: -3.9779 / 3°58'40"W

OS Eastings: 261272.375281

OS Northings: 122701.203596

OS Grid: SS612227

Mapcode National: GBR KV.L23Y

Mapcode Global: FRA 26KH.N44

Entry Name: Brightley Barton moated site

Scheduled Date: 3 February 1953

Last Amended: 24 October 1997

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1016230

English Heritage Legacy ID: 30307

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Chittlehampton

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Church of England Parish: Chittlehampton with Umberleigh

Church of England Diocese: Exeter


The monument includes a rectangular moated site situated on a high ridge
overlooking the valley of the River Taw. The monument survives as a three-
sided, stone-faced moat with the fourth side surviving as a buried feature,
defining an internal area now preserved within a garden.
The southern ditch of the moat measures 37m long, 4m wide and is 0.7m to
1.1m deep; the western ditch is 52.2m long, 4.1m wide and is 0.8m to 1.4m
deep; and the northern ditch 38.7m long, from 3.6m to 3.8m wide and 0.3m to 1m
deep. All three sides are faced with drystone walling, the heights of the
walls reflecting the depth of the moat. The walls are well built with strong
quoins especially on the internal corners.
Around the outside of the ditch is a surrounding bank. In the south west
corner, where the external facing of the outer wall of the moat is visible, it
measures 2.3m long, 0.9m wide and is 0.6m high. The outer bank on the southern
side is 2.6m to 4.7m wide and up to 2m high, on the western side it is up to
4.3m wide and 2.3m high, with a tarmac road lying directly adjacent to the
west, and to the north it is up to 3.6m wide and 2.1m high with a rear
vehicular farm track lying directly to the north.
The eastern side of the moat is preserved as a buried feature. In this area
there is a slight lyncheted earthwork running from north to south which
measures 3m wide and 0.4m high and is partly overlain by the yards connected
to the present farm buildings which were built in the 16th century.
The area enclosed by the moat shows some slight surface undulations, although
these may be due to horticultural practice since this area has been a long
established garden. However, the interior does survive as a raised platform,
and retains old surfaces and structures as buried features. A bank survives
around the outside of this enclosed area which measures up to 3m wide and 0.6m
high. The moat retains water, especially in the winter months, when the
standing water may be reasonably deep.
The site belonged to the Fitzwarrens in about 1190. By the 1500s it was owned
by the Giffords who built the present moat.
The retaining walls to the north, west and south of the moat are Listed Grade

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.

Brightly Barton moated site survives well and contains archaeological
information relating to its construction and occupation. Moated sites are
relatively rare in Devon and this is one of the best preserved examples. Its
stone walling is a particularly unusual feature.

Source: Historic England


Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SS62SW36, (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.