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Wybert's Castle medieval moated site

A Scheduled Monument in Wyberton, Lincolnshire

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Latitude: 52.9499 / 52°56'59"N

Longitude: -0.0134 / 0°0'48"W

OS Eastings: 533565.529526

OS Northings: 341010.611268

OS Grid: TF335410

Mapcode National: GBR JWW.3DD

Mapcode Global: WHHLX.R3SX

Entry Name: Wybert's Castle medieval moated site

Scheduled Date: 2 December 1998

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1018583

English Heritage Legacy ID: 31609

County: Lincolnshire

Civil Parish: Wyberton

Traditional County: Lincolnshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Lincolnshire

Church of England Parish: Wyberton St Leodegar

Church of England Diocese: Lincoln


The monument includes a medieval moated site, known as Wybert's Castle,
located at the south end of Wybert Lane, about 2km east of the village of

The monument lies on relatively low-lying ground to the east of the present
day village. The moated complex covers an area measuring 210m by 170m
surrounding an island measuring approximately 180m by 120m. The island, which
is raised above the level of the surrounding ground, includes a central pond
linked to the moat by a channel or leat which may reflect a subdivision of the
site. Excavations undertaken in 1959-1960 revealed remains of stone structures
on the eastern half of the island, associated with pottery which suggested
that the moated site was occupied during the 12th and 13th centuries and with
some evidence that the site may have been in use until the 15th century.

The moat encloses the island to the east, south and west, and measures between
7m to 12m across with an internal bank along much of its length. The eastern
half of the northern moat arm has been infilled, but survives as a buried
feature; it is thought that the original access to the island may have been at
the north east corner. The open section of the northern moat arm is enlarged,
with a rectangular pond lying immediately to its north. This pond and that on
the moated island would have provided a supply of fish and/or fowl to the
manor. The ponds and some sections of the moat now contain water.

Water was formerly supplied to the moat from the south by a stream which
flowed round the western and northern sides of the complex immediately outside
the monument.

In 1086 there were two holdings in the area, one in the possession of Count
Alan of Brittany and the other held by Guy de Craon. By the 13th century much
of the land at Wyberton, possibly that which had been held by Count Alan,
belonged to the earl of Richmond and was tenanted. In the 18th century the
moated site was known as `Wells Slade', suggesting that it was held by the
Wells family who had a manor in Wyberton in the 14th century. Although they
were not tenants it is thought that their holding at Wyberton may have
descended from previously tenanted land. The name `Wybert's Castle' is thought
to be of late 19th century origin.

All fences, gates and feed troughs are excluded from the scheduling, although
the ground beneath them is included.

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

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 remains of the moated site known as Wybert's Castle survive well as a
series of earthworks and buried deposits. The artificial raising of the moated
island above the prevailing ground level, together with the banks, will
preserve earlier ground surfaces which will provide evidence of land use prior
to the construction of the moat. Waterlogging in the base of the moat and
ponds will preserve organic remains, such as timber, leather and seeds, which
will give an insight into domestic and economic activity on the site. As a
result of archaeological excavation and documentary research the date of
occupation of the complex and its ownership are quite well understood.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Downham, EA, Ancient Earthworks in Lincolnshire, (1912)
Healey, RH, Roffe, DR, Some medieval and later earthworks in South Lincolnshire, (1990), 105-107
Healey, RH, Roffe, DR, Some medieval and later earthworks in South Lincolnshire, (1990), 105-107

Source: Historic England

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