Ancient Monuments

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Moated site immediately north east of Home Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Withcall, Lincolnshire

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Latitude: 53.3358 / 53°20'8"N

Longitude: -0.0739 / 0°4'25"W

OS Eastings: 528352.09652

OS Northings: 383828.407143

OS Grid: TF283838

Mapcode National: GBR WYXV.TX

Mapcode Global: WHHJY.VF01

Entry Name: Moated site immediately north east of Home Farm

Scheduled Date: 16 April 1999

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1016474

English Heritage Legacy ID: 31620

County: Lincolnshire

Civil Parish: Withcall

Traditional County: Lincolnshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Lincolnshire

Church of England Parish: Raithby St Peter

Church of England Diocese: Lincoln


The monument includes a medieval moated site located 100m north east of Home
Farm. The moat is one of two such sites located within the area of the
former medieval village of Withcall; the second moat 250m to the north east is
the subject of a separate scheduling. Documentary records show that in 1086
land at Withcall was held by the Bishop of Bayeux, Rainer de Brimou, and
William Blund. By the 14th century the lands at Withcall were held by William
Ribald of Louth.

The monument lies on a south facing slope and takes the form of a rectangular
moated enclosure, cut into the natural slope, including two adjacent islands,
separated by a moat arm, a level terraced area to the south west of the
islands, and an external bank and water channel. The monument covers an area
measuring 110m by 105m.

The island, lying in the north western part of the complex, is rectangular in
plan measuring 40m by 30m. It includes the earthwork remains of a building at
the eastern corner, thought to represent the manor house, and a hollow on the
western side thought to be the base of a World War II Anderson shelter. On
the north western side of the upper island the moat, now dry, measures up to
15m in width and is up to 2.5m deep. A partly infilled section of the north
west moat arm is thought to represent an original access point to the island.
The second island lies immediately to the south east, separated by a narrow,
deep moat arm. The island is sub-rectangular in plan, measuring 45m by 20m,
and lined with internal banks on the north western and south eastern sides.
The island has a gently sloping interior and is thought to have been used as a
yard or paddock.

On the south western side of the two islands there is a broad flat area,
terraced into the natural slope, marked by a steep slope to the north west and
a lesser gradient to the south west. A large circular mound, measuring 14m in
width, lying to the south west of the lower island, is thought to represent
the remains of a former outer bank which bounded the moat arm on this side. To
the south east of the lower island a low bank represents the south eastern
limit of the moat with a shallow external channel forming part of the
complex's water control system.

Other areas of the village have not survived as fully identifiable earthwork
remains and, although these areas will include archaeological remains, the
level of survival is currently unknown and they are not included in the

A septic tank on the north west edge of the moat and all fences are excluded
from the scheduling, although the ground beneath them is included.

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.

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 immediately north east of Home Farm survives well as a series
of earthworks and buried deposits. Waterlogging at the base of the moat and
channels will preserve organic remains, such as timber, leather and seeds,
which will give an insight into domestic and economic activity on the site.
The artificially raised banks will preserve evidence of land use prior to the
construction of the moat.

As one of two moats associated with the medieval village of Withcall it
contributes to an understanding of the relationship between contemporary
components of the medieval landscape.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Foster, C W, Longley, T, The Lincolnshire Domesday and the Lincolnshire Survey, (1976)
Lincolnshire Archives Office, MM 1/1/22, (1399)
Mr Henry Smith, (1998)
NMR, 353113, (1998)

Source: Historic England

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