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Monument record MDR5522 - Wood Hall homestead moat (site of), Risley

Type and Period (3)

  • (Medieval to Post Medieval - 1066 AD to 1900 AD)
  • (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)

Protected Status/Designation

  • None recorded

Full Description

The 1st ed. 25" OS map marks a 'Moat' and 'Site of Wood Hall (Silver Plate found)' at SK 45043658. (1) "Wood Hall, a little to the north-west of Risley, used to be a park-surrounded seat of the Babingtons. The site can be identified by the remains of a rectangular moat slightly irregular in outline, but with two deep ditches and double rampart on the west, which is the weakest side according to the lie of the land. On the south side are traces of a larger enclosed square, which may have been round the farmstead." (2) The "Silver Plate" referred to above was not found within the area of this site [see SMR 24805]. Only the western ditches are now visible, the rest having been bulldozed in 1949/50. A scatter of Roman pottery (4th century) and medieval green glaze was recorded in 1950-1. (3) Evidence of this moat still exists. (4) The area of the moat was first ploughed during the 1939-45 war and was more completely levelled by bulldozer during the 1949-50 winter. No evidence of a building within the moat has ever been seen but, according to the occupier of Park Farm, massive stone foundations have been found to the south of the moat (at SK 4507 3650). Pot sherds found were in the possession of the occupier of Park Farm until recently but have been mislaid. The Romano-British potsherds referred to by Authority 3 were found on the west of the moated area. They comprised c. 12 sherds of a distinctive 4th century ware. Some evidence of stone walling was found within the moat, associated with medieval green-glazed potsherds. To the south of the moat there is some evidence of a further medieval or post-medieval building associable with the moat. No excavation or detailed examination was possible. (5) The moat is still clearly visible though much reduced by bull-dozing and ploughing. The field boundaries immediately adjacent to it have been destroyed. A rectangular area is enclosed by the remains of a ditch, now dry, which is divided on the west into two by the remains of a bank. The moat appears to have been supplied with water from a brook to the east by a ditch, the remains of which are visible. The area is under grass. To the south of the moat the ground is very uneven, but there is no trace of the 'larger enclosed square' (see Authority 2) nor any surface evidence of the 'massive stone foundations' (Authority 5.). The cottage 'Paradise' on the east is a derelict building of 18th century date and has no obvious association with the moat. To its south, however, the remains of a ditch, probably draining the moat, would (with the supply ditch on the north) have completed the enclosure of the area in which the cottage stands and it is possible that Authority 2's 'enclosed square' on the 'south' is intended to refer to this area on the east. Nothing of significance was found in the area west of the moat where Romano-British potsherds were earlier found (Authority 3). This impinges on the area in which the Roman silver plate was found and they may be associated. A 25" survey has been made of the moat. (6) This site has now been completely ploughed out. (7) A heavy scatter of late medieval pottery in evidence [in 1966]. (8) In autumn 1970 members of the Ilkeston & District Local History Society carried out a preliminary survey and trial excavation at Wood Hall. Excavation within the moated enclosure revealed a stone rubble-strewn area containing, amongst other things, 14th-16th century pottery sherds, animal bones and teeth, and iron nails. Two post holes were identified, containing sherds of Tudor pottery. The moat was also partially sectioned and found to be 7ft deep. At some time prior to the 16th century it had been deliberately filled with a red marl containing disturbed medieval and Tudor sherds. During this operation rubble had also been spread and a rough building erected over part of the moat. Its floor eventually subsided, however, and the resulting depression was finally levelled during 1947 when the whole site was bulldozed flat. The most interesting finds were a five-inch square glazed flooring tile, possibly originating from Dale Abbey, a 15th century French jetton, and an almost complete iron spur of Tudor or earlier date. (11)

Sources/Archives (11)

  • <1> Map: Ordnance Survey (OS). 1913-38. 6".
  • <2> Bibliographic reference: Cox, J. 1905. 'Ancient Earthworks', in The Victoria County History of Derbyshire, Volume 1. pp 357-396.
  • <3> Bibliographic reference: Corr 6" (H.O. Houldsworth, July, 1951)..
  • <4> Bibliographic reference: OS. OS 513 (S.S. Reviser) - DGB 30.5.50.
  • <5> Personal Observation: F1 WW 08-DEC-59.
  • <6> Bibliographic reference: F2 WW 08-DEC-59.
  • <7> Bibliographic reference: SS 6" (V.C. Tibble, Reviser, December 1965).
  • <8> Bibliographic reference: F3 FRH 28-NOV-66.
  • <9> Bibliographic reference: Trent Valley Arch Res Comm Gaz c 1980 4.
  • <10> Index: TPAT. 2220. 220.
  • <11> Bibliographic reference: Palfreyman, A. 1971. 'Excavations at Wood Hall, Risley', The Ilkeston & District Local Histry Society's Newsletter. No. 23, p 51.



Grid reference Centred SK 4505 3658 (212m by 159m) (Centre)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (4)

  • EDR2585
  • EDR3650
  • EDR884
  • EDR1462

Please contact the HER for details.

External Links (0)

Record last edited

Feb 5 2015 9:49AM

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