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Thorpe in Balne moated site

In the civil parish of Thorpe in Balne.
In the historic county of Yorkshire.
Modern Authority of Doncaster.
1974 county of South Yorkshire.
Medieval County of Yorkshire West Riding.

OS Map Grid Reference: SE59901108
Latitude 53.59294° Longitude -1.09634°

Thorpe in Balne moated site has been described as a probable Fortified Manor House.

There are masonry ruins/remnants remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.
This is a Grade 2* listed building protected by law*.


The Thorpe in Balne example was an important medieval manorial site. Its historical associations are documented and it is unusual in having a medieval chapel on site that was used as the parish church of Thorpe in Balne until the loss of its endowment in 1556. Although somewhat disturbed by post-medieval building and activity, substantial remains will survive beneath the modern buildings on the island, and across the whole of the site.
Thorpe in Balne moat consists of a large rectangular island, measuring c.140m east to west and c.120m north to south, and a surrounding moat c.10m wide, largely dry and partly filled in on the south side to provide access to New Marche House and the farmyard. Several fishponds are to be seen on the island, one a linear depression running north to south across the centre of the island which joins, at its northern end, a dry 2m deep fishpond which lies in the NE corner of the site and has a sluice leading into the east arm of the moat. A third fishpond, now filled in, can be seen in the NW corner where the grass varies in colour from that round about, and others may be represented by areas of earthwork and infill in the garden behind the house. Another fishpond, now sliced through by the road, exists to the south of the island and was an extension of the east arm of the moat. To the south of the house, amongst the farm buildings, is the chancel of a twelfth century chapel, the nave of which was demolished in the nineteenth century. The footings of its south wall, with two buttresses, can be seen in the cow byre. The chapel is thought to have been built by Otto de Tilli who was granted the manor of Thorpe in Balne by William Vavasor in the mid twelfth century. The manor later passed through the hands of the Newmarches, the Gascoigns and the Wentworths. The chapel lost its endowment at the time of the Reformation. It is now a Grade IIstar Listed Building and is also scheduled. The monument is divided by a modern road into two separate areas. (Scheduling Report)

Remains of chapel 5.6.68 at Manor House Farm (formerly listed as 'Manor House Farm now cattle shed') Remains of chapel. C12 with C13, C14/C15 and C19 alterations. Magnesian limestone rubble, C19 pantile roof. Consists of a 2-bay chancel of which the north wall, truncated east wall and half of south wall remain. North side: chamfered plinth, large quoins. Refaced buttress on right (probably the rebuilt north-east corner of nave); C12 north doorway has lintel with arched soffit and plain tympanum beneath semicircular hoodmould; broad C13 pointed window with hoodmould on left is partly bricked-up and has no tracery. Chamfered eaves band and hipped roof (in poor condition at time of resurvey). East end has a blind Perpendicular window flanked by outer jambs and parts of heads of C12 windows, arch of central window cut by eaves band. South side: original section of wall to east has a complete C12 window and offset in wall above. West side: semi-octagonal north respond of infilled chancel arch survives having chamfered plinth and mutilated moulded capital. Interior: a string course, chamfered below and above, runs round east end; below it on south wall a C13 trefoil-headed piscina with projecting sill, on east wall a rebated aumbry recess. East window, of 3 lights, retains fragment of panel tracery; the inner arches of the C12 east windows have damaged roll-moulded arrises; similar roll-moulding around the complete C12 window on south wall and the pointed north window. C19 roof of pattern- book trusses. Site of nave south wall clearly visible within cattle shed to west; the shed has some ashlar piers which may be re-used material. Probably founded in mid C12 when William Vavasor gave Thorpe in Balne to Otto de Tilli, the gift being later confirmed by Henry de Laci. In 1452 the chapel was the scene of the forcible abduction of Joan, wife of Charles Nowel, by Edward Lancaster of Skipton in Craven. Hunter (pp 218-219) relates the details of this incident, which resulted in the passing of an Act of Parliament for the redress of grievance and the better protection of females. The loss of the south chapel is unrecorded but the nave was described by John Hunter (c.1830). John Hunter, South Yorkshire: The History and Topography of the Deanery of Doncaster, 1831. P. F. Ryder, notes and survey drawings in South Yorkshire County Ancient Monuments and Sites Record, Sheffield, primary index No 492. P. F. Ryder, Medieval Buildings of Yorkshire, 1982, pp79-80. (Listed Building Report)

Large moated site, of significant manor, with a chapel. Of a size often suggested as fortified although no authority seems to describe this moat as such. However there is no suggestion of an enclosing curtain wall and the moat may well be to have more to do with flood defence in this low lying site.
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This record last updated 15/08/2017 15:56:55

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