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Snittlegarth Moat

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;

In the civil parish of Bewaldeth And Snittlegarth.
In the historic county of Cumberland.
Modern Authority of Cumbria.
1974 county of Cumbria.
Medieval County of Cumberland.

OS Map Grid Reference: NY21643748
Latitude 54.72618° Longitude -3.21821°

Snittlegarth Moat has been described as a probable Fortified Manor House.

There are cropmark/slight earthwork remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.


Snittlegarth moated site survives reasonably well, its earthworks in particular remaining well preserved. It is a good example of a small homestead moat and will retain evidence for the building that originally occupied the island during the 14th century. Additionally the waterlogged parts of the moat will contain organic material.
The monument includes Snittlegarth medieval moated site. It is located on a small plateau on a gently sloping hillside c.500m south west of Snittlegarth Farm and includes an island surrounded by a moat which is boggy in places and which is flanked on its eastern side by an outer bank. The island measures c.25m by 12m and is raised up to 1m above the surrounding landsurface. Surrounding the island is a partly waterlogged moat 4m-5m wide and up to 1.5m deep. The moat is flanked on its eastern side by an outer bank measuring c.4.5m wide and up to 1m high. Documentary sources dated to 1367 state that Sir Robert de Tilliol granted land at Ireby 'except the site of the manor house within the water ditches' and thus indicate that the moated site was occupied during the mid-14th century. (Scheduling Report)

At Snittlegarth, which was next visited, is a very singular earthwork. On a plateau on a hill, well sheltered on three sides by rising ground, a rectangular area, eighty-eight feet by thirty-one feet has been isolated by trench with regular scarp and counter-scarp. This trench is twelve feet broad at bottom, twenty-three feet at top, and the scarp and counter-scarp each nine feet, while the depth is five feet. The Chancellor expressed his opinion that this earthwork was the remains of a homestead similar to that at Overwater, of which only the site of the lord's house remained, all traces of the mounds and trenches of the outer baily having been obliterated by repeated ploughings. (TCWAAS, 1900)

A "camp" is marked on the Ordnance Map near Snittlegarth : it is visible from the Caermot large camp, and is distant about a mile to the east. It is a most singular place. On a plateau on a hill, well sheltered on three sides by rising ground, and with a lovely view towards the south, a rectangular piece of ground, eighty-eight feet by thirty-one feet, has been isolated by a trench with regular scarp and counter-scarp. This trench is twelve feet broad at bottom, twenty-three feet at top, and the scarp and counter- scarp each nine feet, while the depth is five feet. The work is as fresh as if done yesterday. The profile is certainly Roman, but the spade revealed no pottery, and there is no trace of any entrance. (Ferguson)

Rectangular moated site of possible fortified manor house mentioned in deed of 1367. A Snittlegarth Park placename is marked on the map to the north. This is quite a small moat and it may be this was a park keepers lodge rather than a manor house. A now defunct website reported “Recent excavations at the site have turned up a Norman period axehead and some coins.”
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:21:53

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