Blue Man's Bower

Has been described as a Rejected Fortified Manor House

There are earthwork remains

NameBlue Man's Bower
Alternative Names
Historic CountryYorkshire
Modern AuthorityRotherham
1974 AuthoritySouth Yorkshire
Civil ParishWhiston

Blue Man's Bower is an unusual example of its class in that a natural feature has been used to create an outer enclosure round the moated site itself. Although no longer wet, its moat and fishponds are sufficiently waterlogged for there to be some survival of organic and palaeoenvironmental material. In addition, despite the 1939 excavation, undisturbed deposits remain on the island and also around it, between the moat and the outer enclosure.

The main component of Blue Man's Bower moated site is a small rectangular island, measuring c.12m x 15m, partially excavated in 1939 by C.E.Whiting. Found at this time were a series of large stones interpreted as padstones for a barn or similar building. The island seems too small, however, to have been the site of a house. Surrounding the island is a 5m wide moat with outer banks to the south-west and south-east and channels leading off at the south and west corners. These connected with a ditch running parallel with the south- west arm of the moat. This ditch, a dried-up stream-bed, indicates that the stream west of the site has been diverted, and that, at the time the moated site was built, it curved round the site as an outer moat instead of running past it north to south. It is crossed by a causeway mid-way between the channels coming off the moat and once connected with a line of infill, visible to the south and now overgrown with trees. Converging with this filled-in section is another line of infill representing a former course of the Ulley Brook along which the parish boundary still runs. Faint earthworks and a line of lush grass running northwards from the confluence, indicate a string of filled-in fishponds running north-south across the bend in the stream, thereby creating a bow- shaped outer enclosure round the moated site. The northernmost fishpond is still visible as a rectangular reed-filled depression measuring c.50m x 15m. (Scheduling Report)

Gatehouse Comments

Interestingly named small moated site in the flood plain of the River Rother.

- 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 ReferenceSK438896
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  • Sneyd, Steve, 1995, The Devil's Logbook Castles and Fortified Sites around South Yorkshire (Hilltop Press) p. 7
  • Le Patourel, H.E. Jean, 1973, The Moated Sites of Yorkshire (The Society for Medieval Archaeology Monograph Series 5) p.
  • Armitage and Montgomerie, 1912, in Page, Wm (ed), VCH Yorkshire Vol. 2 p. 54


  • Whiting, C.E., 1938-43, 'Excavations at Blue Man's Bower' Transactions of the Hunter Archaeological Society Vol. 5 p. 117-