Warren Hall moated site

Has been described as a Possible Fortified Manor House

There are earthwork remains

NameWarren Hall moated site
Alternative NamesWarynhall
Historic CountryYorkshire
Modern AuthorityDoncaster
1974 AuthoritySouth Yorkshire
Civil ParishSykehouse

The Warren Hall example is unusual in this area for possessing two islands and is particularly important for having the preserved timbers of a bridge in situ. Furthermore, additional organic and palaeoenvironmental material is likely to have survived in the moat. Both islands are largely undisturbed, therefore substantial archaeological deposits will survive well.

Warren Hall moated site consists of two islands, the northernmost raised and measuring c.50m x 50m and the southernmost level and measuring c.30m x 30m. The larger is surrounded to west, south and east by a 10m wide waterfilled moat thought to have relied on the natural water-table for its supply. To the north the moat is filled in and partially overlain by the modern farmyard, and it was here, during the construction of a slurry pit in c.1962, that timbers thought to have been part of a bridge were unearthed and covered up again. The moat round the south island exists only on the east side where it has been recut as part of a modern drain. The line of it, however, can be seen where a partly filled ditch runs on the south and west sides. The smaller island, which has a low bank round the edge, is interpreted as a garden or orchard attached to the main house site which lay on the adjacent larger island. Medieval tile, currently with Doncaster Museum, has been found on site and the present house is purported to contain remnants of an older, larger house. The name Warren Hall is said to have derived from the de Warennes for whom the site may have been a hunting lodge. The first documentary reference, however, is in 1521 when the site was leased by William Copley, having formerly been in the possession of the Fitzwilliam family. Excluded from the scheduling are all modern buildings, paths, gates and fencing, but all the ground beneath these features is included. (Scheduling Report)

Locally said to have been a hunting lodge of the De Warennes (hence the name)

First documentary reference in 1521, when leased by William Copley, having been formerly in the possession of the Fitz-Williams. Tomlinson refers to the site of the 'potcullis and drawbridge' being distinctly visible. The raised island, almost like a low motte, is an unusual feature and could perhaps point to an early date (SYAS. c1980. Moated Sites in South Yorkshire - Thematic report for the DoE). (South Yorkshire SMR)

A messuage and moat called Warynhall is mentioned in a document of 1522 (Tomlinson 1882).

Re-surveyed at 1:2500. A small homestead moat now partially water-filled and overgrown. Warren Hall, situated on the central platform, is a 19thc farmhouse. Nothing remains of an earlier structure (Field Investigators Comments F1 RL 07-SEP-64).

The medieval moat is visible as an earthwork on air photographs, centred at SE 6490 1724. The feature is visible in two symmetrical halves. The ditches measure approdmately 66m in length and are approximately 16m wide (RAF/CPE/UK/2072 3076 17-MAY-1947). (PastScape)

Gatehouse Comments

Seems to be a bit more than a homestead moat. In this area - the floodplain of the River Don - many houses were moated for drainage reasons, although the area also had a reputation, as part of Barnsdale Forest, for outlaws. Did the site really have evidence of a portcullis?

- 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 ReferenceSE649172
HyperLink HyperLink HyperLink

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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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  • Sneyd, Steve, 1995, The Devil's Logbook Castles and Fortified Sites around South Yorkshire (Hilltop Press) p. 18
  • Magilton, J.R., 1977, The Doncaster District: An Archaeological Survey (Doncaster)
  • Le Patourel, H.E. Jean, 1973, The Moated Sites of Yorkshire (The Society for Medieval Archaeology Monograph Series 5)
  • Tomlinson, J., 1882, The Level of Hatfield Chase, and Parts Adjacent (Doncaster)


  • SYAS. c1980. Moated Sites in South Yorkshire