Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

This site is entirely user-supported. See how you can help.

Belleau Manor moated site and dovecote

A Scheduled Monument in Belleau, Lincolnshire

We don't have any photos of this monument yet. Why don't you be the first to send us one?

Upload Photo »

Approximate Location Map
Large Map »

If Google Street View is available, the image is from the best available vantage point looking, if possible, towards the location of the monument. Where it is not available, the satellite view is shown instead.


Latitude: 53.2839 / 53°17'2"N

Longitude: 0.1023 / 0°6'8"E

OS Eastings: 540247.135546

OS Northings: 378391.418088

OS Grid: TF402783

Mapcode National: GBR YZ4G.YH

Mapcode Global: WHJLC.JQXB

Entry Name: Belleau Manor moated site and dovecote

Scheduled Date: 19 February 1979

Last Amended: 18 July 2000

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1019069

English Heritage Legacy ID: 33124

County: Lincolnshire

Civil Parish: Belleau

Traditional County: Lincolnshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Lincolnshire

Church of England Parish: Strubby Wold Marsh St Oswald

Church of England Diocese: Lincoln


The monument, which is in two separate areas of protection, includes the
medieval moated site and post-medieval dovecote at Belleau Manor. During the
14th and 15th centuries the manor of Belleau was held by the Welles family and
subsequently passed to the Willoughby family. The medieval manor house, which
formerly occupied the moated site, was said to be the seat of the Lords of
Willoughby d'Eresby. This house was replaced in the 16th century by a hall,
which following the Civil War belonged to Sir Harry Vane. The remains of the
16th century hall, with 18th and 20th century alterations, stand at the centre
of the moated island and are now incorporated into a barn which is a Listed
Building Grade II. A late 17th century Manor House with medieval
features, thought to have been an extension to the hall, was demolished in
1978 but survives as a buried feature. A 20th century brick-built stable
block, at the north edge of the island, includes a 16th century stone arch
taken from the former gatehouse of the manor and is also a Listed Building
Grade II.

The island is rectangular in plan measuring approximately 140m by 95m and is
surrounded by a moat measuring up to 14m in width. The moat is water-filled to
the west, south and north east; part of the eastern and northern arms have
been infilled but survive as buried features. The western and southern arms
carry part of a stream supplied by water from a nearby spring. Water flows in
at the north west corner of the moat and out at the south east corner. The
southern moat arm and part of the western arm are lined by internal and
external banks. The northern moat arm is crossed by an arched brick-built
bridge of post-medieval date, which is included in the scheduling. It is
thought to stand on or near the site of the original access to the island.

Associated with the manor is an early 16th century brick-built dovecote
located approximately 150m to the north of the moated site. The dovecote is a
Listed Building Grade II*. It is single storey and octagonal in plan,
measuring approximately 6m in width, and is built in red brick laid in English
bond. The dovecote has a facetted slate roof with a boarded lantern at the
roof apex with holes allowing the birds access and egress. There is a low
doorway with a pointed arch giving access at ground level on the south eastern
side of the building. Two arched windows, toward the top of the structure, in
the southern and western walls, face the approach to the moated site and are
thought to be ornamental. Internally there are square brick nesting boxes
arranged in continuous rows, from floor to eaves, around two thirds of the
dovecote with a course of projecting bricks providing a ledge for each row of

All farm buildings including the barn and stable block, boundary walls,
sluices, weirs and fence posts are excluded from the scheduling 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.

Dovecotes are specialised structures designed for the breeding and keeping of
doves as a source of food and as a symbol of high social status. Most
surviving examples were built in the period between the 14th and 17th
centuries, although both earlier and later examples are documented. They were
generally freestanding structures, square or circular in plan and normally of
brick and stone, with nesting boxes built into the internal wall. They were
frequently sited at manor houses or monasteries.

The moated site and dovecote at Belleau Manor survive well as a series of
standing, earthwork and buried remains. The dovecote will contribute to our
understanding of the domestic and economic activity of the manorial complex.
In addition, waterlogging in the moat will preserve organic remains such as
timber, leather and seeds, which will also provide valuable information about
domestic and economic activity on the site. Associated with a well-known
family and formerly part of a larger manorial complex which was occupied over
a long period of time, the site contributes to our understanding of the
development of a relatively high status component of the medieval and later

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Foster, C W, Longley, T, The Lincolnshire Domesday and the Lincolnshire Survey, (1976)
White, W, History, Gazetteer, and Directory of Lincolnshire, (1856)
Platts, G, 'History of Lincolnshire' in Land and People in Medieval Lincolnshire, (1985), 41
NMR, 355515, (1998)
Stovin, Mr , (1998)

Source: Historic England

Other nearby scheduled monuments is an independent online resource and is not associated with any government department. All government data published here is used under licence. Please do not contact for any queries related to any individual ancient or schedued monument, planning permission related to scheduled monuments or the scheduling process itself. is a Good Stuff website.