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Kershope moat

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Kershopefoot; Kirsopfoote; Kisopfote

In the civil parish of Nicholforest.
In the historic county of Cumberland.
Modern Authority of Cumbria.
1974 county of Cumbria.
Medieval County of Cumberland.

OS Map Grid Reference: NY47868254
Latitude 55.13468° Longitude -2.81906°

Kershope moat has been described as a Fortified Manor House although is doubtful that it was such, and also as a probable Bastle.

There are cropmark/slight earthwork remains.


A homestead moat situated on level ground in a field of rough pasture. The uneven though featureless interior is 15m square and stands up to 0.7m above the surrounding land. The clear-cut and dry arms average 6.0m wide and 1.3m deep with low external counterscarp banks on all but the northeast side; there is no entrance causeway. Remnants of a feed arm extend from the east angle in the direction of boggy ground. Roughly parallel with the northeast and northwest arms is a probable contemporary outwork comprising a 4.0m wide and 1.0m deep dry ditch with upcast bank on both sides. (PastScape–ref. Field Investigators Comments–F1 JRL 22-AUG-79)

This is presumed by King to be site of Kershope tower shown on 1590 map as 'Kirsopfoote' and 1607 platt as 'Kisopfote'. This sort of homestead moat is normally excluded from lists of fortified site (including the Gatehouse website). The form of the house within the moat is not known but may have been a form of bastle.
The suggestion is that the 'towers' marked on the crude maps of the late C16, many of which have no visible remains, were, certainly in part, modest sites and the amount of fortification on the border has been exaggerated. However most or all of these sites were the homes of people who had horses and firearms and who were recorded on muster lists, many were also reivers.
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Sources of information, references and further reading
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:21:31

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