Ancient Monuments

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Moated site 325m south east of Branston Lodge

A Scheduled Monument in Branston and Mere, Lincolnshire

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Latitude: 53.2012 / 53°12'4"N

Longitude: -0.4106 / 0°24'38"W

OS Eastings: 506264.462925

OS Northings: 368305.66856

OS Grid: TF062683

Mapcode National: GBR FN8.C0N

Mapcode Global: WHGJ7.NSPR

Entry Name: Moated site 325m south east of Branston Lodge

Scheduled Date: 21 January 1999

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1018724

English Heritage Legacy ID: 31604

County: Lincolnshire

Civil Parish: Branston and Mere

Traditional County: Lincolnshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Lincolnshire

Church of England Parish: Branston All Saints

Church of England Diocese: Lincoln


The monument includes a medieval moated site on Branston Moor, 325m to the
south east of Branston Lodge. Overlooking the Fens to the north east, it is
thought to be associated with medieval improvement of the wasteland and may
have been a grange of Kirkstead Abbey. The abbey is known to have built a
grange in the parish during the 12th century and also had various sheepfolds
in Branston.

The moated site is large and regular in shape with a wide moat, and covers an
area measuring approximately 90m by 85m, including the remains of an external
bank. The visible remains include a square platform, or island, measuring
approximately 55m across, completely enclosed by a 12m to 18m wide water-
filled moat. Part of the island appears to be slightly raised above the level
of the surrounding ground and may indicate the site of a former building. The
location of the original access to the island is no longer evident.

There is an outlet at the eastern corner of the moat, controlled by a sluice,
with an infilled inlet at the southern corner of the moat. Two external banks
lie along the moat arms, one to the north east, measuring 9m in width, with a
long outer slope and a second external bank, 5m wide, lying along the south
western moat arm; the slight earthworks of another external bank are visible
on the south east side. Rectangular features on the south western side of the
island and visible on aerial photographs in 1946 are thought to represent the
remains of ponds.

All fences 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 moated site 325m south east of Branston Lodge survives well as a series of
earthworks and buried deposits. They have been little altered since medieval
times indicating that archaeological remains are likely to survive intact. The
waterlogging in the moat will preserve organic remains such as timber, leather
and seeds, which will provide valuable information about domestic and economic
activity on the site. In addition, the raised ground level on the island and
the external banks will preserve earlier ground surfaces which will provide
evidence of land use prior to the construction of the moat. As a result of
archaeological survey the earthworks are quite well understood.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Healey, RH, Roffe, DR, Some medieval and later earthworks in South Lincolnshire, (1990), 36
Bailey, W T, (1997)
Creasey, D, (1997)
nos. 5488 and 5889, 3G/TUD/UK197, Aerial Photograph, (1946)

Source: Historic England

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