REASONS FOR DESIGNATION
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 moated site north of Dannah Farm is a small but well preserved example which has been partially excavated, providing evidence of its construction, but retains substantial unexcavated areas where further remains survive.
This monument, which is sometimes known as The Mottes, is a moated site comprising a roughly square platform, 1.2m high, surrounded by a moat which varies between 4.5m and 6m wide and is enclosed by an outer bank measuring 1m high by 2m wide. The platform is 18m square and is reached by a 3.6m wide causeway which crosses the moat midway along the north side. In 1957, a partial excavation of the site was carried out by Nottingham University Archaeological Society who dug three trenches, the first from the centre of the platform into the field to the east, the second at the north-east corner of the platform, and the third across the causeway. Aside from a concentration of nails at the centre of the platform, no structural evidence was found although quantities of 14th and 15th century pottery showed when the site was in use. The excavation evidence indicated that the platform was raised by laying rubble from the ditch onto the old land surface, topping this with a layer of clay, and layering soil and small stones on the surface. The strong foundation provided by this method, together with the lack of evidence for a timber framed building, indicates that the moat may have been the site of a stone built structure, which was possibly demolished to provide material for later field walls. The precise function of the site is unknown but it may have been a hunting lodge or a deer enclosure as it lies inside Duffield Frith, 600m south of the forest boundary today represented by Palerow Lane. The field walls crossing the edges of the monument are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground underneath is included.
Unpublished Title Reference - Author: Manning, William - Title: A Medieval Earthwork at Dannah Farm - Type: DESC TEXT - Description: Unpublished account in SMR
Article Reference - Date: 1957 - Journal Title: Derbyshire Archaeological Journal - Volume: 77 - Page References: 60-62 - Type: DESC TEXT
Article Reference - Date: 1958 - Journal Title: Medieval Archaeology - Volume: 2 - Page References: 202 - Type: DESC TEXT