Ancient Monuments

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Bratoft Hall moated site, 550m north of Manor Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Bratoft, Lincolnshire

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Latitude: 53.1662 / 53°9'58"N

Longitude: 0.2007 / 0°12'2"E

OS Eastings: 547212.000454

OS Northings: 365490.682165

OS Grid: TF472654

Mapcode National: GBR LX3.HK3

Mapcode Global: WHJM0.1PV3

Entry Name: Bratoft Hall moated site, 550m north of Manor Farm

Scheduled Date: 8 December 1997

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1017392

English Heritage Legacy ID: 30219

County: Lincolnshire

Civil Parish: Bratoft

Traditional County: Lincolnshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Lincolnshire

Church of England Parish: Bratoft St Peter and St Paul

Church of England Diocese: Lincoln


The monument includes a medieval moated site with associated garden remains
550m north of Manor Farm. The moated site is known to have been the location
of Bratoft Hall, a medieval house built by the Markham family who owned the
site between 1409 and 1538. The house subsequently passed through marriage to
the Massingberds, who in 1698 had Bratoft Hall demolished and moved to a new
house at Gunby.

The remains include the earthworks of a raised moated platform where the
buried remains of the medieval house are located. The moat is partly water-
filled, up to 5m in width and 2m in depth and defines a rectilinear area
approximately 90m by a maximum of 105m. A causeway about 2.5m in width crosses
the eastern side of the moat and represents the original access to the island.
Brickwork visible within the southern edge of the causeway is considered to
represent the remains of revetting. Chalk blocks within the inner edge of the
moat adjacent to the causeway are also considered to have fulfilled a similar
function. A parallel series of banks and ditches running on an ENE-WSW axis
immediately north of the moat are considered to represent contemporary formal
garden remains associated with the hall. The garden remains overlie traces of
earlier ridge-and-furrow cultivation which are visible as faint linear
undulations orientated on a NNW-SSW axis perpendicular to the banks. An
undisturbed continuation of this ridge-and-furrow is visible in an area
approximately 7m by 125m between the northern edge of the formal garden
remains and the modern field boundary. A linear depression up to 2m in width
and 0.6m in depth running for 45m on a NNW-SSW axis from the field boundary
into the north western corner of the moat is considered to represent the
remains of a contemporary water control feature in the form of a drainage
channel. A second cut in the outer edge of the moat approximately 10m south is
thought to represent a similar feature, originally feeding the site from the
west but later truncated by ploughing.

In 1966 sherds of post-medieval green glaze pottery, Siegburg stoneware and
stamped tiles were recovered from the site. Further investigations in 1977
revealed pieces of local 17th century pottery within the inner edge of the
moat. An archaeological survey in 1986 revealed the existence of large
quantities of brick and tile in the field to the north of the monument which
were interpreted as a spread of debris relating to the demolition of the hall.
A small bone figurine dated stylistically to c.1340-80 was found nearby,
indicative of activity in the vicinity during the 14th century before the hall
was built.

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 remains of the moated site at Bratoft Hall survive particularly well as a
series of substantial earthworks. The site has been little altered since it
was abandoned and the majority of buried deposits, including structural
remains of the hall, will therefore remain intact. In addition the waterlogged
nature of the moat indicates a high level of survival for organic remains. The
remains of the moated site are associated with formal gardens and traces of
earlier cultivation, the relationship between which is significant in
understanding the historical framework for the adaptation and development of
the site. As a result of the survival of historical documentation relating to
the site and subsequent archaeological evalauation the remains are quite well
understood and provide valuable information about the utilization of a high
status manorial moated site.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Lincolnshire History and Archaeology: Volume 2, (1976)
Oldfield, E, Topographical and Historical Account of Wainfleet, (1829)
Smith, L, National Trust Archaeological Survey of the Gunby Hall Estate, (1986)
Lincolnshire County SMR: PRN 40716, (1992)
Lincolnshire County SMR: PRN 40716, (1992)
RCHME, NMR Complete Listing: TF 46 NE 8,

Source: Historic England

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