Ancient Monuments

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Moated site and fishpond at Wyfordby

A Scheduled Monument in Freeby, Leicestershire

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Latitude: 52.7617 / 52°45'42"N

Longitude: -0.8263 / 0°49'34"W

OS Eastings: 479297.347848

OS Northings: 318880.693265

OS Grid: SK792188

Mapcode National: GBR CQ9.V6V

Mapcode Global: WHFK1.8VS5

Entry Name: Moated site and fishpond at Wyfordby

Scheduled Date: 9 October 1981

Last Amended: 3 February 1993

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1017619

English Heritage Legacy ID: 17102

County: Leicestershire

Civil Parish: Freeby

Traditional County: Leicestershire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Leicestershire

Church of England Parish: Saxby with Stapleford and Wyfordby

Church of England Diocese: Leicester


The medieval earthworks at Wyfordby lie on a south facing slope between the
village and the river Eye, 3km east of Melton Mowbray. They include a moated
site and fishpond.

The moat comprises a rectangular island raised by 2m above the surrounding
ground surface which measures 20 x 30m and which has some construction stone
showing on the south bank. Standing water is contained in the moat arms on the
north, south and south-west sides of the island, with evidence of outer banks
on the eastern and southern sides and an outer bank of up to 2.5m on the
western side. Later disturbance has modified evidence of a north bank which
may have contained an entrance. To the north-west the bank turns to form a
fishpond, now dry, measuring 30 x 8m with banks up to 1.5m high. A feeding
stream runs north-south on the eastern side of the site, although it is
unconnected to the site today and is thus not included in the scheduling.

The site is believed to have been the residence of the Chevercourt family who
abandoned it about 1400.

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.
It includes a 2 metre boundary around the archaeological features,
considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.

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 moat at Wyfordby survives well. Unusually for Leicestershire it has a
raised central island which remains undisturbed and will retain significant
evidence of the buildings which occupied it.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Hartley, R F, The Medieval Earthworks of North-West Leicestershire, (1987), 16,48

Source: Historic England

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