Ancient Monuments

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St Andrew's College and moat, 440m north east of College Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Acaster Selby, North Yorkshire

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Latitude: 53.8694 / 53°52'9"N

Longitude: -1.1218 / 1°7'18"W

OS Eastings: 457844.810689

OS Northings: 441818.976513

OS Grid: SE578418

Mapcode National: GBR NRLP.YP

Mapcode Global: WHDBJ.R00H

Entry Name: St Andrew's College and moat, 440m north east of College Farm

Scheduled Date: 24 February 1971

Last Amended: 8 December 1997

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1017457

English Heritage Legacy ID: 30110

County: North Yorkshire

Civil Parish: Acaster Selby

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): North Yorkshire

Church of England Parish: Appleton Roebuck with Acaster Selby

Church of England Diocese: York


The monument includes the earthworks of a late medieval secular college with
an associated moated enclosure. It is sited on a spur of slightly higher
ground on the north bank of the River Ouse, north east of Acaster Selby.
The college was founded in 1470 by Robert Stillington, Bishop of Bath and
Wells, for a provost and three fellows in priests' orders acting as
schoolmasters. In an Act of Parliament in the reign of Richard III (1483-85),
the college was noted as holding an estate of 40 acres in Nether Acaster. In
1535 the endowments of the college were valued at thirty three pounds, ten
shillings and four pence gross and in 1546 as thirty five pounds, twelve
shillings and eleven and a half pence. The institution was dissolved c.1548,
but the schoolmaster William Gegoltson was retained as a master and curate
with a fixed annual salary of eight pounds, to serve the 200 residents of
Acaster. Gegoltson was still carrying out his work in 1571.
The moated site lies on the highest ground, forming the northern part of the
monument. It is roughly square, forming an island approximately 60m across,
except that the northern arm of the moat diverges from the parallel as it runs
eastwards. As the northern arm diverges by the width of the moat ditch, it is
suspected that the original intention was to build a square moat and that a
simple setting out error was made during construction. The moat ditch is well
preserved, typically 1.5m deep with a slight external bank, drained by a
narrow run off channel cut from the eastern arm to the drain along the eastern
field boundary. The moat ditch cuts across earlier ridge and furrow which is
7m-8m wide (furrow to furrow), running roughly parallel with the northern
field boundary. This ridge and furrow is fainter within the moated enclosure
than outside to the east, but is still discernible. It is thought that the
land surface within the enclosure would have been levelled upwards with the
upcast from the moat ditch to produce an island of dryer land.
There is a causeway across the western end of the southern moat arm leading to
a set of building remains. These form an area of hummocky ground on a
building platform about half the size of the moated enclosure, extending along
the full length of the southern moat arm. The ridge and furrow is overlain by
the moat and the building remains, which must therefore be features of a later
date. The earthworks are the footings of the main college buildings which
include two building ranges to the north and west of a cruciform chapel. Large
quantities of decayed brick and tile, some with attached mortar, lie in mole
hills across the area. Down slope and to the east of the main building
platform, equidistant between the south east corner of the moat and the corner
of the field, lie the earthworks of an 8m square building on a small building
platform. A further levelled area, but without evidence of buildings or ridge
and furrow, lies just to the west of the moat.
All post and wire fencing is excluded from the scheduling, although the ground
beneath is included.

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

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

The term college is used to describe a variety of different types of
establishment whose communities of secular clergy shared a degree of common
life less strictly controlled than that within a monastic order. Although some
may date to as early as the tenth century, the majority of English colleges
were founded in the 14th or 15th centuries. Most were subsequently closed down
under the Chantries Act of 1547.
Colleges of the prebendal or portional type were set up as secular chapters,
both as an alternative to the structure of contemporary monastic houses and to
provide positions for clerics whose services the monastic establishment wished
to reward. Some barons followed suit by setting up colleges within their
castles, while others were founded by the Crown for the canons who served
royal free chapels. Foundations of this type were generally staffed by
prebends or portioners (priests taking their income from the tithes, or other
income deriving from a village or manor). After 1300, chantry colleges became
more common. These were establishments of priests, financed from a common
fund, whose prime concern was to offer masses for the souls of the patron and
the patron's family. They may also have housed bedesmen (deserving poor and
elderly) and provided an educational facility which in some cases eventually
came to dominate their other activities.
From historical sources it is known that approximately 300 separate colleges
existed during the early medieval and medieval period; of these, 167 were in
existence in 1509, made up of 71 prebendal or portional colleges, 64 chantry
colleges and 32 whose function was primarily academic.
In view of the importance of colleges in contributing to our understanding of
ecclesiastical history, and given the rarity of known surviving examples, all
identified colleges which retain surviving archaeological remains are
considered to be nationally important.

St Andrews College retains extensive earthworks of buildings, including the
chapel, which would have formed the focus of the site. It also retains the
well preserved earthworks of an associated moated enclosure.
Around 6,000 moated sites are known in England, generally constructed to form
dry areas of ground for prestigious aristocratic and seigneurial residences,
with the moat forming a status symbol. The peak period during which moated
sites were built was between about 1250 and 1350, although they were
constructed throughout the medieval period. Moats exhibit a wide variety of
forms and did not always enclose buildings. Some were constructed to surround
gardens. There is no evidence of building remains on the moated island at St
Andrews and thus it may have been used for horticulture. Moats form a
significant class of medieval monument and are important for the understanding
of the distribution of wealth and status in the countryside.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Knowles, D , Medieval Religious Houses: England and Wales, (1971), indexed
Le Patourel, H.E J, 'Monograph Series No 5' in The Moated Sites of Yorkshire, , Vol. 5, (1973), 121

Source: Historic England

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