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Scheduled Monument: WINDLEY MOATED MANORIAL COMPLEX (1429705)

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Authority Historic England
Other Ref SM Cat. No. 553
Date assigned Thursday, July 28, 2016
Date last amended


SUMMARY OF MONUMENT Medieval moated manorial site including a building platform, surrounding ditch and outer bank, located approximately 200m west of the ruins of Farnah Hall. REASONS FOR DESIGNATION The medieval moated manorial site at Windley, dating back to at least the C14, part of the Champion Estate documented as early as 1236, is scheduled for the following principal reasons: * Survival: the major elements of the moated manorial site survive well, with a clearly defined platform, moat and external bank and it is a good example of its type. * Potential: there is clear evidence for the survival of significant archaeological deposits, including the buried remains of the house or hall, waterlogged organic material and a buried medieval land surface, which together has the potential to enhance our knowledge and understanding of the manorial site and the wider social and economic landscape in which it functioned; * Documentation: the existence of comprehensive documentary evidence dating back to 1236 enhances the understanding and significance of the site; * Group value: it has strong group value with the remains of its successor, Farnah Hall, and the associated landscaped park and gardens, including a ha-ha, grotto, ponds and an ice house. HISTORY 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. Although moated sites were built throughout the medieval period and are widely scattered throughout England, the peak period during which they were built was between about 1250 and 1350 and by far the greatest concentration lies in the central and eastern parts of England. Champion Park, one of the parks of Duffield Frith, lies approximately 2km west of Duffield. The name of the former parkland is retained in the nomenclature of Champion Farm in Windley parish. ‘Campana’ was the name of one of the three divisions of the Royal Forest of the Peak and was used by the Normans to describe pleasant open ground. As an under-tenant of William II de Ferrers, William de Campania held 100 acres of land in Duffield in 1236. A Nicholas de Campania was mentioned by name in connection with Edmund, the king’s brother, when, in 1275, he sought to regain or replevy land which had been held by his father (?) Nicholas de Campania. A park referred to as ‘le Campein’ was established west of Duffield before 1296. A series of leases and releases in the Kedleston Archives document the history of the park from the early C14. In 1328 the Earl of Lancaster leased his ‘park de Chaumpaigne en la foreste de Duffield’ to Henry Fouch and his wife Cicele for twenty years. A grant of 1329 details 'une place de terre qest apele le Chaumpaiyne Park en nostre forest de Duffeld' and a piece of land enclosed by hedge and ditch containing 6 acres yielding annually 63s, saving to Henry and his heirs 'les keynes cressauns [the growing oaks] en le dist park et la venison' in the park and the adjoining 6 acres. After 1329 there is some confusion, when in the Quo Warranto of 1330 Henry, Earl of Lancaster and Robert Fouch both claimed Champion. The matter appears to have been resolved by 1333 when Robert was released by Henry for the term of his life from rent of 40s per annum. After the death of Robert Fouch, his three daughters were co-heiresses and had equal rights to the inheritance according to the contemporary practice. Some fragmentation may have taken place at this time. The Manor of Champeyn passed to Alice and her husband, Sir Thomas de Clynton, while Isabella and Joan married into the Bradshaw family. It is believed that the moated manorial site passed to the Bradshaw family in c1390. The Champion estate was gradually acquired by the Curzon family of Kedleston from 1554 and from then onwards is well documented in their archives and provides an excellent unbroken record of succession from 1328 to the present day (Wiltshire, Woore, Crisp and Rich, 2005). Documents from the late C15 continue to make reference to a manor at Wyndeley Hill or Windley Hill in Duffield, and a lease and release of 1720 to Sir John Kedleston mentions the manor and lordship of Windley Hill, Windley Hill Hall, and all its lands etc. including those at Windley. It is unclear exactly when the moated site was abandoned and a new house, approximately 200 metres to the east, was built, but by 1780 the ancient capital messuage was called Farnah Hall and included outbuildings together with various parcels of land including 'the Motts' (15 acres 24 perches). At some point between 1736-80, possibly earlier, the house was re-located from the moated site to the site of the present ruined Farnah Hall. The 1881 census curiously gave a family of four living at The Moat in Windley but map evidence from this time does not show a building on the moat at this time. The distinctive shape of the square-plan moated site is clearly shown on the 1838-42 Ordnance Survey map, and that of 1880 which depicts tree coverage at that time. The banks and ditches of the moated site are clearly depicted on the 1880 map, with a causeway spanning the south end of the south-west arm of the moat. The historic site is clearly labelled as a ‘Moat’ on the 1900, 1914, and 1938 OS maps. No excavations have taken place to date (2016). DETAILS PRINCIPAL ELEMENTS: Medieval moated manorial site, including a central platform, surrounding ditch (moat) and outer bank, located approximately 200m west of the ruins of Farnah Hall. DESCRIPTION: The medieval moated site is located approximately 200m west of the ruins of Farnah Hall, and approximately 475m south-south-west of a gate lodge to Wirksworth Road. The moated site is roughly square in plan, measuring approximately 111m north-west to south-east and 104m north-east to south-west. The site includes a central platform (approximately 40m x 40m), surrounded by a ditch (approximately 15m wide) and an outer bank 25m wide on the north-west side, 18m wide on the north-east side and 12m wide on the south-east and south-west sides. The central platform is wooded, including saplings and nettles, and as a consequence a thick covering of leaf mould conceals any earthworks but, given that the site is completely unencumbered by development since its abandonment and the surrounding earthworks are so well defined, the potential for building remains to survive beneath the ground surface remains high. The ditch or moat survives around all four sides of the platform up to approximately 1.5m deep, and although silted in many places remains waterlogged, providing an environment ideally suited to the preservation of organic evidence such as leather and wooden artefacts or building materials. An earthen causeway spans the south end of the south-west arm of the moat, providing access to the central platform. A short section of outer bank along the south-west side has been reduced in height close to the southern corner. The moat is enclosed by a post-and-wire fence with posts set at intervals of approximately 3m along the inner edge of the outer bank. EXTENT OF SCHEDULING: The mapped depiction includes a 2m buffer zone around the perimeter of the medieval moated site. EXCLUSIONS: A stone-lined leat runs south from the south corner of the moat but this is excluded from the scheduling, as is the post-and-wire fence enclosing the moat, but the ground beneath these features is included. SELECTED SOURCES Books and journals: Craven, M, Stanley, M, The Derbyshire Country House, (1982), 32 Wiltshire, Mary (Author), Woore, Sue (Author), Crisp, Barry (Author), Rich, Brian (Author), Duffield Frith - history & evolution of the landscape of a medieval Derbyshire forest, (2005), 92-5

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Grid reference Centred SK 3238 4362 (184m by 176m)
Map sheet SK34SW

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

Record last edited

Oct 24 2016 2:57PM

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