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Monument record MDR4435 - Moated site, Moat Wood, Melbourne Parks

Type and Period (3)

  • ? (Medieval to Georgian - 1066 AD to 1800 AD)
  • ? (Medieval to Georgian - 1066 AD to 1800 AD)
  • ? (Medieval to Georgian - 1066 AD to 1800 AD)

Protected Status/Designation

  • None recorded

Full Description

'In Moat Wood, Melbourne Parks, there is a small water-filled moat, within which was the site of the lodge pertaining to the park attached to Melbourne Castle'. (1) The moat and its immediate vicinity are covered in dense undergrowth and closely planted young afforestation, rendering a thorough perambulation impossible. The island is inaccessible. Adjacent engineered water bays adjoining the south arm of the moat are possible fish ponds, although if, as has been suggested, the lodge was situated elsewhere, the whole water complex might be a former decoy rather than a moat proper. Published survey (25" 1920) to be amended by Field Surveyor. (2) A general lowering of the water level enabled the "island" to be reached. It was discovered that there is no south arm, and by all appearances there never was. As no purpose would seem to have been served by filling, the whole feature must have been a decoy. Stone and brickwork in the bridge forming part of the dam is 18th/19th century. The site of the lodge was probably at Park Farm, on the high ground. (3) The moat shown on 18th and 19th century maps has the appearance of a medieval moat with an island 30m wide x 50m long, although some curious extensions to the arms suggest a different interpretation. The pasture field to the north east is called Fishpond Hill and this could have some significance. The layout of the site is reminiscent of fishponds recorded elsewhere, e.g. Rolleston, Nottinghamshire. In the north west corner of the feature is a weir built of large, well-dressed stone blocks with an overflow channel, now dry, similar to exposed foundations at Melbourne Castle. It is suggested that this site was associated with Melbourne Park [SMR 23216]. In 1404-5 a "chief pond" is mentioned in connection with the park and in 1392-3 the fishery of Karebrok (Carr Brook) was valued, but there is no evidence to relate them to the moat. (4) In 1734 a map of Melbourne parks was drawn up. On this, the site appears as a grid of water channels. A later map of 1804 (probably a mistake for 1840) shows the grid to have increased in size. According to that map, the plantation was called Moat Wood and the field to the south was Moats or Motts Meadow. The pasture field to the north-east is called Fishpond Hill. A study of the Duchy of Lancaster Ministers' accounts relating to the park show that in 1392/3 the fishery of 'Karebrok' was valued at 18d and that in 1404/5 2s was spent on making and improving the 'chief pond'. The brook flowing through the park is today called Blackwell Brook, but the name changes to Carr Brook in its lower reaches. However, there is no further evidence to connect the 'moat' with the Carr Brook fishery or with the chief pond. Another possible relevant reference is the permission granted to the steward of the manor in c. 1250 to enclose the king's stew with a hedge and a ditch. By 1777 the site was clearly used as a fish stew, as indicated by a memo which noted: 'Turn'd 30 brace of store carp into the Motts…'. (7)

Sources/Archives (7)

  • --- Unpublished document: Usher, H. 1987. The Moat at Melbourne, Derbyshire.
  • <1> Bibliographic reference: Cox, J. 1905. 'Ancient Earthworks', in The Victoria County History of Derbyshire, Volume 1. pp 357-396. p 390.
  • <2> Personal Observation: F1 BHS 13-APR-62.
  • <3> Personal Observation: F2 BHS 23-JUN-66.
  • <4> Bibliographic reference: Bond, C J (ed). 1980. Moated Sites Research Group Report No. 7. figs 4-5.
  • <5> Index: TPAT. 2257. 2257.
  • <6> Bibliographic reference: Craven, M. and Drage, C. 1982. Moated Site List.



Grid reference Centred SK 3920 2409 (180m by 217m) (Centred on)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (2)

  • EDR1327
  • EDR1045

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External Links (0)

Record last edited

Apr 8 2015 11:10AM

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