Fenwick Moat Hill

Has been described as a Possible Fortified Manor House

There are earthwork remains

NameFenwick Moat Hill
Alternative NamesLadythorpe Moat; Fenwyk'
Historic CountryYorkshire
Modern AuthorityDoncaster
1974 AuthoritySouth Yorkshire
Civil ParishFenwick

Moated site in excellent condition under pasture, but surrounded by ploughland. The field to the E is ridge and furrow. The moat itself is almost square, with an unploughed platform in the centre. This bears no visible sign of buildings, but that this was a habitation site is strongly suggested by a projection in the moat to the N which may have been a fishpond (Scheduling notice). Possible site of a fortified house documented in 1271 (King). The moat is sub-rectangular in form and comprises a broad ditch which is crossed by a causeway to the east. It measures approximately 56m by 50m. An irregular pond abuts the moat ditch to the north and may be a fishpond. (PastScape)

an irregular quadrilateral in plan with a slightly raised island measuring c.40m along the south and west and c.50m along the north and east. A moat c.5m wide surrounds it and is crossed by a causeway on the east side. The moat is dry now and there is no indication of how it was formerly fed, therefore it is thought to have been reliant on the natural water table which has since lowered. An arm projecting from the north-west corner is still slightly marshy and is interpreted as the remains of a fishpond. Only on the west side, where the moat has been recut and laid with a hedge, is there any obvious disturbance to the site, though it is possible that slight depressions running north-south across the island are the remains of former ridge and furrow cultivation, as plough ridges can be seen east of the site. The island now displays no obvious sign of building foundations, but stone wall footings have been seen on it in the past and, more recently, limestone blocks were observed in the west arm of the moat. Though the historical context of the monument is not known, according to local tradition it was a Templar site. (Scheduling Report)

Rex vicecomiti Ebor' salutem

Cum Ricardus Folyot de receptamento Walteri de Euyas, Rogeri Godberd et aliorum malefactorum rettatus fuisset, occasione cujus retti terras et tenementa ipsius Ricardi in balliva tua cepisti in manum nostram et insuper ad castrum suum de Fenwyk' accecisti ad capiendum eum, propter quod idem Ricardus castrum suum predictum et Edmundum filium ejus tradidit in ostagium, tali scilicet condicione, quod veniret coram te apud Eboracum ad certum diem inter te et ipsum super hoc prefixum, ad reddendum se prisone nostre, et idem Ricardus personaliter comparens coram nobis et consilio nostro apud Westmonasterium invenerit nobis manucaptores subscriptos, videlicet Johannem filium Johannis, Robertum de Stutevill', Baldewynum de Akeny, Walterum de Colevill', Philippum de Colevill'. Johannem de Haveresham, Robertum de Affagaz de comitatu Essex', Ricardum de la Wache, Herbertum de Sancto Quintino, Gilbertum de Clovill', Rogerum de Leukenore et Walterum de Bures de comitatu Essex' veniendi coram nobis a die Sancti Michaelis in quindecim dies, vel, si Edwardus primogenitus noster citius in Anglia redierit et velit hoc negocium maturari, ad certum diem quem eidem Ricardo legitime duxerimus prefigendum, ad standum recto in curia nostra de predicto receptamento ei imposito, prout de jure debuerit secundum legem et consuetudinem regni nostri; tibi precipimus quod eidem Ricardo terras et tenementa sua predicta sic capta sine dilacione liberari facias in forma predicta. Teste rege apud Westmonasterium xvij. die Februarii. (CCR)

Gatehouse Comments

King suggest this as a castle site, presumably some sort of fortified manor house, on the bases on one historic document (He references the Cal. Pat. Rolls but actually in the Cal. Close Rolls). Fenwick is a relatively rare, for South Yorkshire, non-nucleated settlement, and the moat may be of manorial status, although there is another manor house placename and further moat at Fenwick Hall suggest several other manors in this parish none really large enough to support a castle. There seems to be some exaggeration in the Close Roll Entry (or, more probably, in the original petitions on which the writ to the Sheriff was based) of a sort not uncommon in disputes so Richard Foliot's 'castle' was probably a fairly ordinary high status moated house with an armed porter and a few of Richard's 'criminal' cronies rather than a military base equipped for surviving a siege.

- Philip Davis

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law

Not Listed

Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceSE581150
HyperLink HyperLink HyperLink
Photo by Philip Davis. All Rights Reserved

() above

Latitude 53° 37' 44.17" Longitude -1° 7' 19.36"

View full Sized Image
Photo by Philip Davis. All Rights Reserved

() above

Latitude 53° 37' 44.17" Longitude -1° 7' 19.36"

View full Sized Image

Most of the sites or buildings recorded in this web site are NOT open to the public and permission to visit a site must always be sought from the landowner or tenant.

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  • Fenwick, H., 1997, 'The wetland potential of medieval moated sites in the Humberhead levels' in Van de Noort, R. and Ellis, S. (eds), Wetland Heritage of the Humberhead Levels (Kingston Upon Hull: School of Geography and Earth Recources for English Heritage) p. 429-438
  • Sneyd, Steve, 1995, The Devil's Logbook Castles and Fortified Sites around South Yorkshire (Hilltop Press) p. 11, 14
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 2 p. 530, 540n128a
  • Magilton, J.R., 1977, The Doncaster District: An Archaeological Survey (Doncaster) p. 39, 93
  • Le Patourel, H.E. Jean, 1973, The Moated Sites of Yorkshire (The Society for Medieval Archaeology Monograph Series 5) p. 124

Primary Sources


  • Historic England, 2015, Heritage at Risk Yorkshire Register 2015 (London: Historic England) p. 78 online copy
  • English Heritage, 2014, Heritage at Risk Register 2014 Yorkshire (London: English Heritage) p. 88 online copy
  • English Heritage, 2013, Heritage at Risk Register 2013 Yorkshire (London: English Heritage) p. 92 online copy
  • English Heritage, 2012, Heritage at Risk Register 2012 Yorkshire and the Humber (London: English Heritage) p. 113 online copy
  • English Heritage, 2011, Heritage at Risk Register 2011 Yorkshire and the Humber (London: English Heritage) p. 105 online copy
  • English Heritage, 2010, Heritage at Risk Register 2010 Yorkshire and the Humber (London: English Heritage) p. 109 online copy
  • English Heritage, 2009, Heritage at Risk Register 2009 Yorkshire and the Humber (London: English Heritage) p. 119 online copy
  • Creighton, O.H., 1998, Castles and Landscapes: An Archaeological Survey of Yorkshire and the East Midlands (PhD Thesis University of Leicester) p. 726-7 online copy