Barmston Old Hall

Has been described as a Possible Fortified Manor House

There are earthwork remains

NameBarmston Old Hall
Alternative Names
Historic CountryYorkshire
Modern AuthorityEast Riding of Yorkshire
1974 AuthorityHumberside
Civil ParishBarmston

The moated site at Barmston Old Hall Farm survives well and is part of a more extensive complex of medieval remains including the church, fields and fishponds. The main moated island will retain evidence of the buildings which formerly occupied it and the waterlogged moat and fishponds provide conditions suitable for the preservation of organic materials. Taken as a whole, the complex, will provide important evidence for medieval occupation and land use in the area.

The monument consists of an extensive complex of medieval remains, including a moated site, a second smaller moated area, a pond, three fishponds, associated enclosures which include part of a ridge and furrow field system, and other earthwork remains. The area also includes a church and churchyard but these are excluded from the scheduling. The main moated site lies in the west central part of the monument. The waterlogged moat is between 15m and 20m wide and up to 2m deep, except for a 30m long section at the northern end of the western arm which has been in-filled. The enclosed island is sub-rectangular in shape and measures about 100m north-south by 70m east-west. Old Hall, a late 16/17th century house which is listed grade IIstar, stands at the centre of the island and will have replaced earlier buildings since the site is known to have been occupied from at least the mid-13th century. Access to the enclosed island is provided by a brick and stone bridge which crosses the northern arm of the moat. To the south of the main moated site and defining the southern part of the monument is a large square enclosure defined by a ditch and bank; the bank is up to 2m high and 7m wide and the ditch is 2m deep by 6m wide. Much of the enclosed area was used for agriculture in the medieval period and the earthwork remains survive of ridge and furrow ploughing. However, in the north-west corner of the enclosure, immediately to the south of the main moated site, are two fishponds

The two fishponds now appear as L-shaped features which lie close together with the southern pond partly enclosing the northern. The northern and eastern arms of the northern pond are 7m wide by up to 2m deep and have an overall length of 140m; there appears to have also been a south-eastern arm which is now almost entirely in-filled. The southern pond is up to 20m wide by 2m deep and now has an overall length of some 110m. Silted channels some 6m wide appear originally to have connected the southern arm of the pond to the ditch of the surrounding enclosure. To the north of the southern enclosure and to the east of the main moated site, continued agricultural use of the land has altered and obscured the original pattern of boundary ditches although slight traces of ridge and furrow ploughing are still visible. However, the eastern boundary of the southern enclosure appears to have extended further north and eventually to have joined up with the eastern boundary of the monument where it is well-defined in the north-eastern corner. The northern boundary of the monument is defined by the ditch which runs alongside the road but the area of the modern farm buildings is not included within the scheduling since the extent and survival of remains beneath the buildings is uncertain. To the north-east of the main moated site, on a ridge of slightly higher ground, lies the medieval church which is listed grade I and the churchyard of All Saints. Although an integral part of the medieval complex, the church and churchyard remain in ecclesiastical use and are therefore totally excluded from the scheduling. To the north-east of the churchyard, in the north-east corner of the monument, lies the second moated area which appears to have been set within a pre- existing enclosure, so that it now has two sets of ditches on the south and east sides; the original access to the church appears to have been along the strip of land between these ditches although the modern access now runs over the western side of the moated area. The moated area measures 50m north-south by 40m east-west surrounded by a ditch 4m wide and 0.75m deep. To the west of this second moated area and to the north of the church is a square silted pond measuring 38m by 38m and 0.75m deep. The sides of the pond have been revetted with brick and stone. West of this is a silted up medieval fishpond measuring 38m by 13m by 1m deep. Further earthworks survive between this fishpond and the modern farm buildings but are difficult to interpret. The site at Barmston was occupied from at least the mid 13th century and was originally part of the Burton Agnes estate. During the 16th century the site was the main residence of Sir Thomas Boynton, though the estate's principal house was, and remains, Burton Agnes Hall. The areas of the modern farm buildings are not included in the area of the scheduling. The parish church, a grade I listed building and churchyard are totally excluded from the scheduling. Barmston Old Hall, a grade IIstar listed building, and all other buildings within the monument are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath them is included. (Scheduling Report)

House. Probably late C17, with earlier range to left of reputedly C16 origins, and later additions and alterations including C19 range to rear... Range to left: ashlar quoins. Brick plinth with chamfered ashlar copings interrupted by inserted early C20 casement window. Shaped ashlar modillions. Brick copings, end stack. Gable end has remains of blocked window with ashlar quoined jambs under cavetto-moulded hood with label stops and brick relieving arch. Above a 3-light cavetto-moulded window in double-chamfered surround with quoined jambs. Tumbled-in brickwork to gable end. To rear: C20 glazed entrance and casement window. 3-light cavetto-moulded mullion-and-transom window in double-chamfered surround under cavetto-moulded hood with label stops and relieving arch. First floor has 12-pane, 2-light Yorkshire sash. Cogged eaves band. Interior to both ranges much altered in C19. Reputedly the remaining part of the C16 manor house of the Boyntons who acquired Burton Agnes Hall through marriage in the C17. (Listed Building Report)

The Manor House.—From the most ancient times the Mansion House of the Lord of the Manor has adjoined the church, which is a few hundred yards west of the village. The house deeply moated on all sides, was accessible only by a draw bridge, a circumstance which powerfully reminds the present generation of those sanguinary times, when no man was secure from the daily inroads and injuries of the neighbouring barons and their retainers, but in proportion to the strength and security of his habitation. The present Manor House, represented in the wood cut, is part of the right wing of the ancient, large and venerable mansion, originally designed by Sir Thomas Boynton, knt., in the reign of Elizabeth, but completed by Sir Francis Boynton, knt, his son and successor. About the close of the 17th century, this place was deserted for an habitation of superior extent and magnificence. Sir Francis Boynton, the second baronet, was the last of the name who lived here; he died in the year 1695, from which period Burton Agnes, a village five miles to the north-west, and formerly the seat of the Griffiths, became the residence of this family. The manor house, together with a porter's lodge, was perfectly entire within the memory of those who lived when Mr Dade wrote; it was dismantled by the grandfather of the late, and great-grandfather of the present owner, and from the materials arose many good farm-houses. (Poulson )

The manor house, mentioned from 1297, (Cal. Inq. p.m. iii, p. 278) occupied a moated site at the west end of the village near the church. It is said to have been rebuilt by Sir Thomas Boynton (d. 1581 or 1582) and his son Sir Francis (d. 1617), (Poulson, Holderness, i. 213-21) but it may have been the work of Francis's successor, Sir Matthew Boynton, Bt. (d. 1647), for Celia Fiennes later called the Barmston house 'newer built' than Burton Agnes Hall, which is of 1601-10. (Descriptions of E. Yorks.: Leland to Defoe, ed. D. Woodward (E. Yorks. Loc. Hist. Ser. xxxix), 50; V.C.H. Yorks. E.R. ii. 108; Poulson, Holderness, i. 198, 200) In 1672 the family's heir, William Boynton, lived in the house at Barmston, which then had 10 hearths, ( Hearth Tax, 61, 165; Poulson, Holderness, i. 198) but it was later abandoned by the Boyntons and used as a farmhouse. In 1582 the evidently large house had included great, little, old, and garden parlours, many chambers, and a gatehouse and porter's lodge, besides service and farm buildings. In the mid 18th century the house was taken down, except for one wing of two storeys, basement, and attics, which was later remodelled and survives as part of Old Hall Farm. Materials from the house were said to have been used in building other farmhouses. (E.R.A.O., DDX/225/6; Poulson, Holderness, i. 213-21; Pevsner and Neave, Yorks. E.R. 274) (VCH)

Gatehouse Comments

A substantial moated manor house of a knight worth over £2000 in 1581. The Inventory of 1581, transcribed in Poulson, records a gatehouse of a size large enough to include beds.

- Philip Davis

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law

This is a Grade 2* listed building protected by law

Historic England Scheduled Monument Number
Historic England Listed Building number(s)
Images Of England
Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceTA155587
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  • Kent, G.H.R., 2002, 'North division: Barmston' VCH Yorkshire: East Riding Vol. 7 p. 213- online transcription
  • Pevsner, N. and Neave, D., 1995 (2edn), Buildings of England: Yorkshire: York and the East Riding (London ) p. 274
  • Loughlin, Neil and Miller, Keith, 1979, A survey of archaeological sites in Humberside carried out for the Humberside Joint Archaeological Committee p. 75
  • Le Patourel, H.E. Jean, 1973, The Moated Sites of Yorkshire (The Society for Medieval Archaeology Monograph Series 5) p. 110
  • Pevsner, N and Neave, D., 1972, Buildings of England: Yorkshire: York and the East Riding (London) p. 167
  • Bulmer, 1892, History and Directory of East Yorkshire p. 104
  • Sheahan, J.J., and Whellan, T., 1855, History and topography of the city of York, the Ainsty Wapentake and the East Riding of Yorkshire Vol. 1 p. 402
  • Poulson, George, 1840, The History and Antiquities of the Seigniory of Holderness Vol. 1 p. 213-24 (Includes full transcription of 1581 Inventory) online copy