Ancient Monuments

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The Manor moated site and fishpond complex

A Scheduled Monument in Ludborough, Lincolnshire

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Latitude: 53.4392 / 53°26'21"N

Longitude: -0.0497 / 0°2'58"W

OS Eastings: 529645.522846

OS Northings: 395375.779223

OS Grid: TF296953

Mapcode National: GBR XX3N.1V

Mapcode Global: WHHJD.6TL9

Entry Name: The Manor moated site and fishpond complex

Scheduled Date: 25 June 2001

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1019979

English Heritage Legacy ID: 33145

County: Lincolnshire

Civil Parish: Ludborough

Traditional County: Lincolnshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Lincolnshire

Church of England Parish: Fotherby St Mary

Church of England Diocese: Lincoln


The monument includes a medieval moated site and fishpond complex located 150m
south of The Manor. In 1086 Robert de Todeni held land at Ludborough as part
of the manor of Binbrook. At the end of the 12th century Ralph de Clere held
Ludborough and by the 13th century the property came into the possession of
the de Braose family. The manor then descended, through marriage, in the same
family until the late 16th century, and in the mid-17th century was sold to
Christopher Smyth.

The moated site is linked to a series of three fishponds situated immediately
east of the moat. The moated island measures approximately 100m by 80m,
narrowing at the eastern end, and has internal divisions, including a
rectangular enclosure, marked by a bank and ditch, at the north western corner
of the island. The enclosure, measuring about 42m by 32m, is believed to
represent the site of a former manor house which will survive as a buried
feature. The moat measures up to 12m in width, and the western arm is lined by
an external bank. A causeway on the western moat arm is thought to indicate
the location of an original access point. A linear depression at the north
west corner of the moat is thought to represent an inlet channel.

The three subrectangular fishponds, lying immediately to the east of the moat,
are aligned west to east and measure 50m by 35m, 70m by 45m and 65m by 55m
respectively. The water-filled ponds are surrounded and separated by banks
raised above the general ground level with a continuous bank at the southern
side of the ponds. The eastern and western ponds both include an island of
modern origin. Water is supplied to the pond complex at the south west corner
and flows from west to east, from one pond to the next, with an outflow
provided in the easternmost bank of each pond, the location of the outlets
forming part of the original water management system.

All fence posts are exluded 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.

A fishpond is an artificially created pool of slow moving freshwater
constructed for the purpose of cultivating, breeding and storing fish to
provide a constant and sustainable food supply. Groups of up to twelve ponds
variously arranged in a single line or in a cluster and joined by leats have
been recorded. The ponds may be of the same size or of several different sizes
with each pond being stocked with different species or ages of fish. The size
of the pond was related to function, with larger ponds thought to have had a
storage capability whilst smaller, shallower ponds were used for fish
cultivation and breeding. Fishponds were maintained by a water management
system which included inlet and outlet channels. The tradition of constructing
and using fishponds in England began during the medieval period and peaked in
the 12th century and were largely built by the wealthy sectors of society.
Despite being relatively common, fishponds are important for their
associations with other classes of medieval monument and in providing evidence
of the site economy.

The Manor moated site and fishpond complex survives well as a series of
earthworks and buried deposits. Waterlogging will preserve organic remains
(such as timber, leather, and seeds) which will give an insight into domestic
and economic activity on the site. In addition, the artificially raised ground
will preserve evidence of land use prior to construction. The good survival of
the complex will preserve valuable evidence of the way in which these
components of the medieval landscape developed and interrelated.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Dudding, R C, 'Lincolnshire Architectural & Archaeological Society' in Ludborough, , Vol. 42, (1935), 189-220
Foster, C W, Longley, T, 'Lincoln Record Society Publications' in Lincolnshire Domesday and the Lindsey Survey, (1924)
Russell, E, Russell, R C, 'Lincolnshire History series' in Making new landscapes in Lincolnshire, , Vol. 5, (1983), 60-62
NMR, 353224, (1998)
Ordnance Survey, Field investigators comment, (1963)
Ordnance Survey, Field investigators comment, (1963)

Source: Historic England

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