Ancient Monuments

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Moated site west of Church Road

A Scheduled Monument in Harby, Nottinghamshire

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Latitude: 53.2247 / 53°13'28"N

Longitude: -0.6867 / 0°41'12"W

OS Eastings: 487776.512694

OS Northings: 370539.918778

OS Grid: SK877705

Mapcode National: GBR DL6.TF8

Mapcode Global: WHGJ3.F67R

Entry Name: Moated site west of Church Road

Scheduled Date: 13 February 1953

Last Amended: 25 January 1993

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1017858

English Heritage Legacy ID: 23213

County: Nottinghamshire

Civil Parish: Harby

Traditional County: Nottinghamshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Nottinghamshire

Church of England Parish: Harby with Swinethorpe

Church of England Diocese: Southwell and Nottingham


The monument is the moated site west of All Saints Church, Harby and includes
part of a roughly square platform enclosed on its south and west sides by
ditches and, on its north side, by a boundary bank. The monument would also
have extended eastwards into the area now occupied by All Saints churchyard.
However, apart from a small area containing the surviving east end of the
south ditch, the churchyard is not included in the scheduling as it is in
current ecclesiastical use.
Apart from the boundary bank along its northern edge, the platform was roughly
70m square. Approximately three-quarters of this area is included within the
scheduling. Low earthworks along the northern edge of the platform mark the
foundations of brick-built structures and are interpreted as evidence of later
re-use of the moated site. The boundary bank is c.5m wide and 1.25m high and
is flat-topped. Originally, it would have supported a timber palisade
or wall. It extends westwards to form a dam across the northern end of the
ditch on the west side of the moat, and is now truncated by the modern field
boundary. Originally, it would have continued further westward to form the
boundary round a second enclosure. At its north end, the western moat ditch
is c.11m wide and has a very shallow V-shaped profile with a maximum depth of
1.5m. Towards the south, it is nearer 2m deep and is steeper sided. A 7m
wide causeway lies between the south end of this ditch and the west end of the
southern moat ditch. The south ditch is c.2m deep and 8m wide and has been
filled in to the east where the churchyard now lies. There is now no visible
sign of a ditch along the east side of the moat. This suggests either that
the church lay within the moated enclosure or that the feature has been filled
in and built over.
The monument, which is sometimes wrongly referred to as Queen Eleanor's
Palace, was in fact the site of the medieval moated manor house of Richard de
Weston. It was here that the Queen died in 1290 after failing to recover from
an illness whilst accompanying her husband Edward I on his campaign against
the Scots. The moat would have been constructed some time prior to this and
would have continued in use for some time after.

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 Harby is a reasonably well-preserved example of a large manorial
moat with documented historical associations. Though it has suffered some
disturbance since it was abandoned, this has been restricted to one area and
the remains of buildings and structures from all phases of occupation will
survive throughout.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Thorold, H, Shell Guide to Nottinghamshire, (1984), 77
'Transactions of the Thoroton Society' in Transactions of the Thoroton Society: Volume 3, , Vol. 3, (1899), 2-15

Source: Historic England

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