Ancient Monuments

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Two moated sites and associated features 520m north of Grimston Garth

A Scheduled Monument in East Garton, East Riding of Yorkshire

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Latitude: 53.8011 / 53°48'3"N

Longitude: -0.0521 / 0°3'7"W

OS Eastings: 528387.538191

OS Northings: 435626.590338

OS Grid: TA283356

Mapcode National: GBR XS2H.J4

Mapcode Global: WHHGN.5QGC

Entry Name: Two moated sites and associated features 520m north of Grimston Garth

Scheduled Date: 11 November 1954

Last Amended: 26 November 2004

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1021241

English Heritage Legacy ID: 35496

County: East Riding of Yorkshire

Civil Parish: East Garton

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): East Riding of Yorkshire

Church of England Parish: Garton-in-Holderness St Michael

Church of England Diocese: York


The monument includes earthwork and buried remains of two medieval moats
and adjacent ancillary features. It is located 50m inland from the sea on
the coastal plain of Holderness 5km south of Aldborough. The remains
include a large rectangular moat with a smaller secondary moat to the
north west and a range of features including ditches and ponds between the
moat and the sea.

The date of construction for the larger moated site is currently unknown
but is thought to date between the 12th to 14th centuries and was the site
of a high status manorial residence. The secondary smaller moat is thought
to have been for ornamental purposes and would have contained pleasure
gardens or orchards. The manorial residence and associated features are
all that survive of the former medieval village of Grimston, which is
known to have been in existence by the Domesday survey in 1086. It was
common for the more prestigious dwellings of medieval settlements to be
located in a prominent position away from the main settlement reflecting
importance as the habitation of the lords of the manor. Evidence from
aerial photographs and field survey shows that parts of the wider medieval
village were located some 500m to the west. These however have been
intensively ploughed and there are no earthwork remains visible.

By the 17th century the manor house was the seat of the Grimston family
until it was destroyed by fire in the middle of that century. The site
continued in use and by the 19th century there was a farm complex within
the main moat called Grimston Garth, which is shown on the Ordnance Survey
map to be on the site of an earlier building called Grimston Hall. During
the late 18th and 19th centuries the monument lay within an area called
Great Parks which was part of the wider designed landscape for the 18th
century gothic house of Grimston Garth built by Thomas Grimston in the
1780s and located 500m to the south. During this time the smaller moat
seems to have functioned as a landscape feature within the Great Parks as
it has been known as The Keep, The Mount and also as Lady Grimston's

The large moated site includes a rectangular shaped platform, orientated
east to west enclosed on all sides by a ditch. The platform measures 89m
by 60m and the encircling ditch is up to 15m wide. Access to the moated
platform is by a causeway on the eastern side. This is shown on the 19th
century map and it is thought to be the original entrance way. Within the
moat platform there are standing farm buildings including a section of
wall believed to be the remains of the former Grimston Hall.

The second smaller moat is located 40m to the north west of the main moat.
The central platform is orientated north to south and measures 30m by 17m.
The enclosing ditch is 6m wide. Access appears to be at the north eastern

To the east of the main moat there are remains of some features associated
with the manorial complex. These include remains of ditches which divided
the area into enclosures possibly for horticulture and ponds which would
have been used as fishponds.

All standing buildings, fence posts, gates and all made up surfaces 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.

This list entry was subject to a Minor Amendment on 05/12/2011

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 two moats at Grimston survive well and significant earthwork and
buried remains are preserved. Taken as whole the monument offers important
scope for the study of medieval domestic life as well as the development
of expressions of status.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Neave, D, Turnbull, D, Landscaped Parks and Gardens of East Yorkshire, (1992), 31-32
Neave, D, Turnbull, D, Landscaped Parks and Gardens of East Yorkshire, (1992), 31-32
Neave, S, Ellis, S, An Historical Atlas of East Yorkshire, (1996), 32, 54

Source: Historic England

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