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Moated site known as Hall Yards, 150m north west of Tyrell's Hall

A Scheduled Monument in Shepreth, Cambridgeshire

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Latitude: 52.1105 / 52°6'37"N

Longitude: 0.0351 / 0°2'6"E

OS Eastings: 539458.217894

OS Northings: 247752.617119

OS Grid: TL394477

Mapcode National: GBR L8B.PP7

Mapcode Global: VHHKM.K6DX

Entry Name: Moated site known as Hall Yards, 150m north west of Tyrell's Hall

Scheduled Date: 5 January 2001

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1019549

English Heritage Legacy ID: 33291

County: Cambridgeshire

Civil Parish: Shepreth

Built-Up Area: Shepreth

Traditional County: Cambridgeshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cambridgeshire

Church of England Parish: Shepreth All Saints

Church of England Diocese: Ely


The monument includes a medieval moated site known as Hall Yards, situated
150m north west of Tyrell's Hall.

The moated site includes a roughly rectangular island which measures up to 65m
north east-south west by 50m north west-south east. Buried building
foundations and medieval pottery have been identified on the island. The
island is enclosed on the north west side by a water-filled moat which was
extended, prior to the mid-18th century, to form a pond, 66m long by up to 30m
wide. The north east, south east and south west sides of the moat have been
partly infilled and are now visible as linear depressions measuring up to 8m
wide and 0.4m deep.

In the 13th century William de Hayes owned an estate in the parish of Shepreth
which comprised the manor of Docwras and the manor of Wimbish. The moated site
is thought to represent the site of the manor of Docwras, also known as
Hallyards, in which William was licensed in about 1280 to have an oratory. The
manor was divided in the 14th century, and Hallyards may perhaps also
represent the site of the house, owned by Baldwin St George, which was burned
down in 1401 and subsequently replaced by Docwras Manor, built approximately
150m to the north. A further moated site, 40m to the south west, is the
subject of a separate scheduling.

A derelict summerhouse, which stands to the north of the north west arm of the
moated site and is thought to have been added in the 19th century, is not
included in the scheduling.

The fencing and the bridge to the island on the north west arm of the moat,
and all standing structures, 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.

Despite partial infilling of part of the moat, the moated site known as
Hall Yards, 150m north west of Tyrell's Hall, survives well. The greater part
of the island is largely undisturbed and will retain buried evidence for
structures and other features relating to former periods of occupation. The
buried silts in the base of the moat will contain both artefacts relating to
the period of occupation and environmental evidence for the appearance of the
landscape in which the monument was set. Comparison of this site with further
examples, both locally and more widely, will provide valuable insight into
developments in the nature of settlements and society in the medieval period.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
The Victoria History of the County of Shepreth (Wetherley Hundred)251
'Octavo Publications 53' in PCAS, ()
Title: 1st Edition 25" Ordnance Survey Map
Source Date: 1886
Title: A Plan of all the Inclosures belonging to W. Woodham at Shepreth
Source Date: 1764
CRO: R53/4/160
Title: Enclosure map of Shepreth
Source Date: 1811
CRO: Q/RD210
Title: Tithe Map of Shepreth
Source Date: 1844
CRO: 296/P43

Source: Historic England

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