Ancient Monuments

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The Hermitage moated site, 400m north east of Corby Pasture Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Corby Glen, Lincolnshire

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Latitude: 52.8262 / 52°49'34"N

Longitude: -0.5011 / 0°30'4"W

OS Eastings: 501089.92435

OS Northings: 326459.477598

OS Grid: TF010264

Mapcode National: GBR FSM.S5B

Mapcode Global: WHGL4.87M6

Entry Name: The Hermitage moated site, 400m north east of Corby Pasture Farm

Scheduled Date: 10 April 1980

Last Amended: 27 September 1999

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1016969

English Heritage Legacy ID: 31638

County: Lincolnshire

Civil Parish: Corby Glen

Traditional County: Lincolnshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Lincolnshire

Church of England Parish: Irnham St Andrew

Church of England Diocese: Lincoln


The monument includes the medieval moated site, known as The Hermitage,
located adjacent to Old Park Wood. Following the Norman Conquest Irnham was
held by Robert Pagenell and remained in his family until 1220 when it passed
by marriage to the Luttrells. During the 15th century Irnham passed to the
Hiltons and then to the Thimbleby family, who were recusants after the
Reformation. Irnham continued to be a centre of Catholicism until the 19th
century. There are no known references to a hermitage at Irnham in the
medieval period. The present placename may therefore date from later reuse of
the site as a garden feature.

The monument takes the form of a moated island with external banks, and an
adjoining embanked enclosure situated adjacent to a south-flowing stream. The
island is rectangular in plan measuring 30m by 20m and is enclosed by a broad
water-filled moat up to 14m in width. External banks measuring up to 6m in
width and standing up to 1m in height line each moat arm. Water was formerly
supplied to the moat from the adjacent stream; a channel at the northern
corner of the moat provided a water inlet while an outlet, to return water to
the stream, is situated at the eastern corner of the moat.

At the southern corner of the moat an embanked channel curves westward from
the moat and feeds into a roughly circular pond adjacent to the external bank
of the south western moat arm. The pond, which still retains water, measures
9m by 8m and is thought to represent a fishpond. The pond lies within a
rectangular enclosure, measuring 80m in length, which adjoins the south
western side of the moat; it is bounded by a broad bank to the north west and
a low narrow bank to the south east and south west.

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 medieval moated site known as The Hermitage survives well as a series of
earthworks and buried deposits. Waterlogging in the moat and pond will
preserve organic remains, such as timber, leather and seeds, which will give
an insight into the domestic and economic activity on the site. The
artificially raised banks will preserve evidence of the land use prior to
their construction. Archaeological deposits on the island will include the
buried remains of medieval buildings, possibly relating to a hermitage, which
will tell us how the site was used during the Middle Ages and after.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Leach, T R, Lincolnshire country houses and their families, Part 1, (1990), 51-56
Li 30065, (1997)
Lincolnshire SMR, Li 30065, (1997)
NMR, 348400, (1998)

Source: Historic England

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