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Moated site 170m north east of Brook Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Brinkhill, Lincolnshire

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Latitude: 53.2442 / 53°14'39"N

Longitude: 0.0577 / 0°3'27"E

OS Eastings: 537404.384253

OS Northings: 373882.751929

OS Grid: TF374738

Mapcode National: GBR XZVX.9R

Mapcode Global: WHHKD.VQN9

Entry Name: Moated site 170m north east of Brook Farm

Scheduled Date: 11 March 1971

Last Amended: 7 July 1999

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1016973

English Heritage Legacy ID: 31632

County: Lincolnshire

Civil Parish: Brinkhill

Traditional County: Lincolnshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Lincolnshire

Church of England Parish: Brinkhill St Philip

Church of England Diocese: Lincoln


The monument includes a medieval moated site, fishpond and associated water
supply features 170m north east of Brook Farm. In 1086 the land at Brinkhill
was held by Earl Hugh as part of the land of Greetham. The monument is one of
three moated sites lying witin a 400m radius in the village of Brinkhill, each
of which is the subject of separate schedulings.

The moat island is roughly `L'-shaped in plan measuring 80m by 40m and is
surrounded by a broad moat, now dry, measuring 10m to 12m in width and up to
2m deep. The moat is lined by external banks on the north eastern and south
eastern sides. At the eastern corner of the moat the external bank is
interrupted by two shallow channels. One channel leads to the east, the other
to the north, where it is in turn connected to a channel about 4m wide which
runs parallel to the north eastern moat arm. This is thought to represent the
remains of a fishpond. The south west moat arm is connected to a broad
channel, measuring 8m in width and up to 1.5m deep, which leads to the south.
A sample of this is included in the scheduling.

All fences and horse jumps 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 170m north east of Brook Farm survives well as a series of
earthworks and buried deposits. The banks will preserve evidence of land use
prior to the construction of the moat.
A fishpond is an artificially created pool of slow moving fresh water
constructed for the purpose of cultivating, breeding and storing fish to
provide a constant and sustainable supply of food. They may be dug into the
ground, embanked above ground level, or formed by placing a dam across a
narrow valley. Groups of up to 12 ponds variously arranged in a single line or
in a cluster and joined by leats have been recorded. The ponds may be of the
same size or of several different sizes with each pond being stocked with
different species or age of fish. The size of the pond was related to function
with large ponds thought to have had a storage capacity whilst smaller,
shallower ponds were used for fish cultivation and breeding. Fishponds were
maintained by a water management system which included inlet and outlet
channels carrying water from a river or stream, a series of sluices set into
the bottom of the dam and along the channels and leats, and an overflow leat
which controlled fluctuations in water flow and prevented flooding.
Buildings for use by fishermen or for the storage of equipment, and islands
possibly used for fishing, wildfowl management or as shallow spawning areas,
are also recorded.
The tradition of constructing and using fishponds in England began during the
medieval period and peaked in the 12th century. They were largely built by the
wealthy sectors of society with monastic institutions and royal residences
often having large and complex fishponds. The difficulties of obtaining fresh
meat in the winter and the value placed on fish in terms of its protein
content and as a status food may have been factors which favoured the
development of fishponds and which made them so valuable. The practice of
constructing fishponds declined after the Dissolution of the Monasteries in
the 16th century. More fishponds fell out of use during the post-medieval
period, although some were re-used as ornamental features in 19th and early
20th century landscape parks or gardens, or as watercress beds.
Documentary sources provide a wealth of information about the way fishponds
were stocked and managed. The main species of fish kept were eel, tench,
pickerel, bream, perch and roach. Once a year probably in the spring, ponds
were drained and cleared.
Fishponds are widely scattered throughout England but the majority are found
in central, eastern and southern parts and in areas with heavy clay soils.
Fewer fishponds are found in coastal areas and parts of the country rich in
natural lakes and streams where other sources of fresh fish were available.
Although 17th century manuals suggest that areas of waste ground were suitable
for fishponds, in practice it appears that most fishponds were located close
to villages, manors and monasteries or in parks so that a close watch could be
kept on them to prevent poaching. Although approximately 2000 examples are
recorded nationally, this is thought to be a small proportion of those in
existence in medieval times. Despite being relatively common, fishponds are
important for their association with other classes of medieval monument and in
providing evidence of site economy.
The associated remains of a fishpond 170m north east of Brook Farm will
preserve additional evidence relating to economic activity on the site. As one
of a group of moated sites in a small area it contributes to an understanding
of the inter-relationship of contemporary components of the medieval

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Foster, C W, Longley, T, The Lincolnshire Domesday and the Lincolnshire Survey, (1976)
Foster, C W, Longley, T, The Lincolnshire Domesday and the Lincolnshire Survey, (1976)
NMR, 354344, (1998)

Source: Historic England

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