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Monument record MDR6081 - Defended manorial complex (site of), Stainsby

Type and Period (4)

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

Protected Status/Designation

Full Description

SK 4494 6568 Moat [GT]. (1) The manor of Stainsby, "…… originally spelt Steinesbi, is named, I think, in the Domesday Book .." In 1258, held by William de Steynesby; came into the possession of the De Hardwick family soon after 1330; and 19 Henry VIII, passed to the Cavendish family. The Manor House, which stood on the brow of the hill, ceased to be used as a family seat (perhaps in the time of the Hardwicks) and may have been used for a time as a farmhouse or at once demolished, the material being used for the building or repair of Hardwick Hall. Of Steynesby Hall nothing remains. A cottage and a school room stand on the site. On the hill, a little below, are distinct traces of a fosse or ditch. (2) Stainsby Hall, Ault Hucknall, for many generations the home of the Savage family, has a small piece of the old moat remaining, of semi-circular shape. (3) Nothing definite is known about the earthworks - they are locally accepted as a moat. Subsidence has badly affected the area. (4) The earthworks shown to the north of the school comprise two obvious banks separated by an apparent ditch. The inner bank can be traced, extremely mutilated, on all sides of the Manor House (SMR 240) and school (SMR 263). The outer bank and ditch end abruptly on the east and west. Beyond the hedgerows on the west side of the school the area has been open-cast quarried. The hedgerow to the north and east of the school appears to be placed on a slight bank which follows the curve of the more obvious banks suggesting that it is part of the earth works. No continuation of its south or west ends can be traced. No certain identification of these earth works can be made. They are probably the remains of an irregular homestead moat but it is possible that there may have been a motte-and-bailey here. A 25" AM survey has been made. (5) The topographical situation of the ditch is such as to render it impossible for it to have been water-filled obstacle. As suggested by Authority 5, there may have been a motte and bailey or ring castle here, or the site may have simply been a defended hill. However, the eastern terminal of the main ditch is so abrupt as to suggest the probability that the major earthwork was never completed. (6) No change. (7) Stainsby Manor House. Only the earthworks of the defensive ditch, rampart and fishpond of the former manor house are visible. (9) A resistivity survey was undertaken in summer 1996 by Stainsby Local History Study Group of an area 60 x 40m at 1m intervals adjacent to the Stainsby school house. The survey revealed three clear linear features running south-west to north-east and a further linear feature running at right angles, south-east to north-west. In addition, two distinct but amorphous patches of high resistance were identified, which could either be natural geological features or archaeological deposits of some sort. (10) Scheduled. The monument includes the remains of the defended manorial complex at Stainsby consisting of the below ground remains of a manor house and chapel, the surviving earthworks of the defensive ditch and rampart, the outer circuit bank and fishpond. A hollow way is also evident as an earthwork to the south west of the manor house leading to the chapel. The medieval manor house is thought to have stood on the brow of the hill underlying the Victorian school building (SMR 263) and adjacent School House (SMR 240) which occupy the hill top today. The most visible archaeological features are the earthworks which enclose the northern end of the manorial complex. There are three circuits or part circuits of enclosing earthworks. The innermost surrounds an area about 130m by 120m on the summit of the hill and defines the northern side of the medieval manor itself. The largest earthworks are the defensive ditch, rampart and fishpond which form a segmented arc approximately 150m long on the northern flank of the hill. The ditch was probably fed by a spring and lined with clay to make it more impermeable. The fishpond may have been a later reuse of the earlier defensive ditch. Although no upstanding earthworks can be seen on the field to the west of the ditch, cropmarks visible on aerial photographs do show the continuation of the ditch to the west. The enclosure created on the hill top by the defensive earthworks is occupied by the manorial complex including the main manorial building. In a field to the south of the School House are the earthwork remains of further manorial buildings and other structures. Geophysical survey has indicated that extensive buried remains survive throughout this field. To the south of the innermost enclosure and west of Yew Tree Farm are the remains of a hollow way. To the south of the hollow way and at its westernmost extent is the site of the chapel (SMR 211). (11)

Sources/Archives (11)

  • <1> Map: OS 6" 1914-39.
  • <2> Article in serial: F J Leachman. 1873. The Antiquary 3, No 52 Mar 1st 1873.
  • <3> Bibliographic reference: Cox, J. 1905. 'Ancient Earthworks', in The Victoria County History of Derbyshire, Volume 1. pp 357-396. pp 390-391.
  • <4> Personal Observation: F1 WW 02-DEC-59.
  • <5> Personal Observation: F2 WW 02-DEC-59.
  • <6> Personal Observation: F3 FDC 16-DEC-59.
  • <7> Personal Observation: F4 JB 09-JUN-66.
  • <8> Unpublished document: County Treasure Recording Form. 10(e).1, with photos.
  • <9> Bibliographic reference: Hart, C (NDAT). 1981. The North Derbyshire Archaeological Survey to AD 1500.
  • <10> Unpublished document: Resistivity Survey: Letter and plots from Ian Wall (Creswell Heritage Trust), January 1997.
  • <11> Scheduling record: English Heritage. 1997. Scheduling Notification. 29896.



Grid reference Centred SK 44907 65622 (374m by 274m)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (4)

  • EDR736
  • EDR924
  • EDR1132
  • EDR3668

Please contact the HER for details.

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Record last edited

Sep 1 2015 4:18PM

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