Ancient Monuments

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Moated site and garden enclosure at Glenfield

A Scheduled Monument in Glenfields, Leicestershire

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Latitude: 52.6498 / 52°38'59"N

Longitude: -1.2105 / 1°12'37"W

OS Eastings: 453509.422976

OS Northings: 306082.569862

OS Grid: SK535060

Mapcode National: GBR 8M5.SXV

Mapcode Global: WHDJ9.CNTF

Entry Name: Moated site and garden enclosure at Glenfield

Scheduled Date: 10 June 1992

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1017680

English Heritage Legacy ID: 17079

County: Leicestershire

Civil Parish: Glenfields

Built-Up Area: Leicester

Traditional County: Leicestershire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Leicestershire

Church of England Parish: Glenfield St Peter

Church of England Diocese: Leicester


The monument at Glenfield is situated on the south bank of the Rothley Brook
to the west of the village and includes a moated site and enclosure adjoining
on the western side.

The moat defines a sub-rectangular shape measuring 75m x 60m in maximum
dimensions. The arms of the moat are water-filled and between 8m-l0m in width
with part of the southern arm infilled. The modern access to the enclosed
island crosses this infilled section of moat and an original access is thought
to have been similarly located. On the western side of the moat is a roughly
square enclosure measuring approximately 90m x 90m defined by a dry ditch
about 0.75m deep and 8m wide, with the exception of the northern arm which has
been modified. An entrance causeway, thought to be original, exists centrally
on the southern arm. It is thought that the enclosure originally contained a
formal garden.

Roof slate and ridge tile dating from the 13th-14th centuries have been found
on the moat island. Probing activity on the moat island indicates stone
foundations beneath the surface considered to be those of the medieval house
which originally occupied it.

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 moated site at Glenfield survives essentially undisturbed and will retain
environmental information in the waterlogged conditions. There is evidence
that the moat island contains the building foundations of a substantial house
and associated buildings. The adjoining enclosure is a rare feature in
Leicestershire and it is thought to have contained a formal garden.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Hartley, R F, The Medieval Earthworks of Central Leicestershire, (1989), 57, 66

Source: Historic England

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