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Warcop Vicarage Moat

In the civil parish of Warcop.
In the historic county of Westmorland.
Modern Authority of Cumbria.
1974 county of Cumbria.
Medieval County of Westmorland.

OS Map Grid Reference: NY742156
Latitude 54.53536° Longitude -2.39912°

Warcop Vicarage Moat has been described as a Fortified Manor House although is doubtful that it was such.

There are no visible remains.


A fragmentary moated or ditched enclosure of nearly rectangular shape. Partly destroyed by houses and and gardens but apparently enclosing an area of about 2 acres. There is an outer bank along the west side of the enclosure (OS).
"The vicarage house hath been anciently moated round, including the garden, orchard and outhouses; with a drawbridge at the entrance" (Nicolson and Burns).
Vertical photographs show the moat has a feeder leat (recorded as NY 71 NW 55) connecting it to the Crooks Beck (between NY 7412 1575 and NY 7425 1567). (PastScape)

There was a more modest moat on the east side of the vicarage, presumably a garden moat. The moat to the west of the vicarage is a good size. The S and W arms are well preserved; the N arm is less well preserved presumably because of some infilling associated with grave digging in the adjacent church yard. There may never have been an E arm although it may also have been totally infilled when the vicarage was rebuilt. The parish history given by Curwen suggest the moat may have been dug in the early C14 when the vicarage came fully into the hands of Shap Abbey. The moat is suggested as a protection from the Scots although the church tithes and wool stores would have been a tempting target for more local thieves. The recorded drawbridge may well have been a simple affair and no gatehouse is recorded and it does not seem that the moated area was walled. It may well be the moat had a secondary function as a simple fishpond. The moat is more impressive than the usual homestead moat, probably reflecting the status of the Abbey, but it is not a fortified house.
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:21:28

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