Ancient Monuments

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York prebendary manor moated site, 300m north west of Hawthorn Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Riccall, North Yorkshire

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Latitude: 53.8354 / 53°50'7"N

Longitude: -1.0656 / 1°3'56"W

OS Eastings: 461585.508811

OS Northings: 438085.850791

OS Grid: SE615380

Mapcode National: GBR PS02.2V

Mapcode Global: WHFCP.LVRL

Entry Name: York prebendary manor moated site, 300m north west of Hawthorn Farm

Scheduled Date: 22 December 1997

Last Amended: 18 March 1998

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1018212

English Heritage Legacy ID: 30121

County: North Yorkshire

Civil Parish: Riccall

Built-Up Area: Riccall

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): North Yorkshire

Church of England Parish: Riccall St Mary

Church of England Diocese: York


The monument includes the buried and earthwork remains of a medieval moated
site for a prebendary manor house belonging to York Minster, located on the
western outskirts of Riccall village. Upon the island there is a Grade II*
Listed Building that incorporates substantial remains of a late medieval brick
built manor house.
The manor of Riccall was held by the Archbishopric of York from before the
Domesday Survey. The prebendal manor house was in existence by 1294, when it
was first documented, and a licence to crenellate was granted in 1350. The
oldest part of the existing house is a brick built three storey tower with a
five stage turret dated to c.1480. The manor and moated site passed to the
Wormley family in 1651, who in 1654 made Riccall Hall, 700m to the south east,
their main residence. In 1869 the manor house was enlarged to serve as a
The moated island is approximately 60m by 80m, orientated NNW-SSE. It is
rhomboid in plan with the western side being 90m long, and the eastern side
70m. The upstanding late medieval building is sited centrally on the western
side of the island. The encircling moat ditch is broad and deep, typically 20m
wide and was originally at least 2m deep. The northern and eastern moat arms
survive best; the south western part of the of the circuit survives mainly as
an infilled feature, modified by 19th-century landscaping. The field to the
west of the monument is lower than the island and, as a result, the western
moat arm is defined on its outer western side by a bank. The island also
retains some evidence of internal division with low linear banks.
A number of features are excluded from the scheduling; these are all
upstanding buildings, modern fences, garden walling, paving, driveway and path
surfaces; although the ground beneath these features is included.

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 prebendary manor in Riccall is a good example of a high status
moated site. It is unusual because it retains a substantial part of the late
medieval manor house. The site's importance is heightened by the well
preserved nature of the earthworks forming the ditch and island.
Archaeological deposits are considered to survive throughout the island, both
under the present buildings and in open areas. Remains will include building
foundations, rubbish pits, and evidence of early gardening. The moat ditch
will also contain important deposits, especially within the infilled sections.
The site is also well documented.

Source: Historic England


MAP Archaeological Consultancy, Riccall Hall archaeological evaluation, 1997, Typescript report on nearby site
Printout, National Monuments Record, (1997)

Source: Historic England

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