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.
Although few of the remains at Park Hall survive as visible features, limited excavation has demonstrated that the archaeological remains of buildings and other features survive well, both on the platform and in the moat, and exhibit good stratigraphy as they have remained relatively undisturbed since the site went out of use. Unusually for this part of the country, the well and part of the moat are water-filled and even the filled in areas of the latter have demonstrated the survival of well preserved organic remains such as wood, leather, bone, thatch and shell. It is a relatively well documented site and the written record forms a useful corollary to the excavated evidence which demonstrates the development of the site over 600 years. Equally well preserved remains will survive throughout the rest of the moated site and in the adjacent enclosure.
The monument includes the moated site and well at Park Hall and the adjacent enclosure which extends to the south-east. The moated site is currently occupied by the stackyard of Park Hall Farm and its visible remains comprise a platform measuring c.30m square and the water-filled east arm of the moat which is now c.8m wide. Partial excavations carried out by the Ilkeston and District Local History Society in 1968 and 1970 have demonstrated that the north arm of the moat also survives as a buried feature and is c.7m wide by c.2.1m deep. Although no excavation was carried out along the west side of the stackyard, it is believed that the west arm of the moat will also survive as a buried feature together with the south end of the east arm, which was still visible in 1880 on a line with the north wing of the present day farm. The layout of the moated site indicates that other buried features will survive beneath the north wing of the modern farm and will include the remains of a gate leading from the farm track, together with a wall or other boundary feature and the remains of earlier buildings. In 1967, the Ilkeston and District Local History Society carried out a partial excavation on the east side of the moated platform, north of the well which is c.3.6m deep and water-filled. The well itself proved too wet to excavate but was examined and found to be lined with blocks of local sandstone, dressed to create a smooth circular well-shaft with drains let in at intervals. The lowest 0.3m of the well was unlined. Immediately to the north of the well was a levelled area identified as the site of a modern tennis court and now occupied by a farm building constructed on a concrete platform. To the east of this was found evidence of four distinct occupation phases, beginning in the 13th century. The most recent was represented by a paved area dated by pottery evidence to the first half of the 19th century. Below this were sherds of 18th century brown and black glazed pottery overlying an earlier paved area which itself overlay a turf layer containing 17th century yellow glazed pottery and fragments of clay pipes. The turf layer was preceded by a cobbled surface embedded into iron slag containing a fused sherd of 16th century Midland Purple ware pottery. Other fragments of Midland Purple were found among the cobbles, together with sherds of Cistercian ware pottery, fragments of red earthenware roof tiles, pieces of amber-green window glass, fragments of table glassware with folded edges, and two decorated lead weights. Beneath the iron slag was a layer of rubble containing 15th century orange glazed and 13th or 14th century green glazed pottery sherds, together with pieces of 13th or 14th century brown and green glazed roofing tiles. Foundations for a culvert and the walls of a building were set on the rubble layer and consisted of undressed local sandstone blocks, packed with clay and pieces of brown and green glazed roof tile. The latter would have come from demolished medieval buildings, whose remains will survive as buried features in unexcavated areas of the moated site. The culvert and walls are believed to be 16th century as some sections were built on iron slag. Excavation continued into the water-filled east arm of the moat and revealed a small section of its original inner edge. A line of post holes and stake holes indicated the existence of a palisade, dated to the 13th century by a sherd of green glazed pottery. Also found were the preserved remains of two oak stakes with adze-sharpened ends. The excavation also revealed that the moat edge had gradually eroded beyond the line of the palisade and that stone slabs had been laid down subsequently, possibly to revet the bank. The filled in north arm of the moat also contained well preserved organic remains including parts of a leather boot, thatch and timbers from a building demolished in the 16th century, and three oyster shells and two leather insoles datable to the later Middle Ages by their position close to the bottom of the moat. A further small-scale excavation was made through the perimeter bank of the enclosure south-east of the moat, but the only datable remains were pot sherds associated with 19th century land drains. The enclosure is roughly 40m square and partly bounded by a bank and silted up outer ditch with an entrance at the south-west corner. The remains of further buildings and structures relating to the moated site will survive as buried features within this area of the scheduling. Park Hall is believed to be associated with Simon de Arderne, who received a grant of the manor of Mapperley, with fair, market and free warren, in 1267. He appears to have exceeded his rights as lord of the manor by holding a Court Leet and, in c.1270, Park Hall was forcibly entered by Ralph de Crumwell of nearby West Hallam, who had his men destroy the gallows and take away the pillory. In 1276, de Arderne sold the manor to Thomas de Luthe but his name is preserved in the name 'Simon Fields' given to the land west of Park Hall Lane. Further documentary evidence includes a record of Robert Morton of 'Le Park Halle, Mapperley' made in 1507, a mention of the house made in Chancery proceedings in 1599, and a further record of Sir Anthony of Strelley who 'lived at the Hamlet of Park Hall in 1691'. The moated site was deserted but apparently still identifiable in 1857. However, by 1905, when the Rev Charles Kerry wrote a description of the site, it appears to have looked much as it does today, with only the well and the east arm of the moat surviving as visible features. Excluded from the scheduling are the modern farm buildings, outbuildings and other structures of Park Hall Farm, all boundary fencing and gates, and all modern surfaces, but the ground beneath these features is included.
Book Reference - Title: Wollaton manuscripts - Type: DESC TEXT - Description: VIII, 66
Book Reference - Author: Bulmer et al - Title: History, Topography and Directory of Derbyshire - Date: 1895 - Type: DESC TEXT
Book Reference - Author: Glover - Title: History and Gazetteer of Derbyshire - Date: 1840 - Type: DESC TEXT
Book Reference - Author: Kerry, Rev. Charles - Title: History and Legends of Smalley - Date: 1905 - Type: DESC TEXT
Book Reference - Author: White - Title: Directory of the County of Derby - Date: 1857 - Type: DESC TEXT
Article Reference - Title: The Ilkeston Pioneer - Date: 1905 - Type: MENTION - Description: 14 June
Article Reference - Author: Palfreyman, Alan F. - Title: Report on Excavations at Park Hall Farm, Mapperley (Derbyshire) - Date: 1970 - Journal Title: Bulletin of the Ilkeston & District Local History Society - Volume: 2 - Type: DESC TEXT - Description: August
Article Reference - Author: Palfreyman, Alan F. - Title: Report on Excavations at Park Hall Farm, Mapperley (Derbyshire) - Date: 1970 - Journal Title: Bulletin of the Ilkeston & District Local History Society - Volume: 2 - Type: EXCAVATION REPORT - Description: August