ASGARBY AND HOWELL: HOWELL HALL
This series of mainly rectilinear earthworks is situated immediately to the east and south-east of the present Hall (Fig 13) and covers an area of some 23 hectares, under permanent pasture at the time of writing. The small rectangular enclosures in the south-west corner of the field can be identified with houses shown on maps of 1802 and 1823 (1), but the larger and more regular features are best interpreted as the remains of a formal garden associated with an earlier hall (Fig 90).
At the extreme east end of the site are two parallel water-filled ditches 40 metres apart. Each is 190 metres in length, ten metres wide and up to two metres in depth. Between these are two circular ponds which have been cleaned out in modern times but may well be original features. West of the most westerly ditch is a level area 76 metres across with a narrow ridge one metre high along its western edge, immediately adjacent to a shallow ditch ten metres wide. This ditch may originally have been part of a system surrounding a further level platform some 85 by over 90 metres which is one metre higher than the rest of the pasture. However, none of the features are very distinct at the north-east corner of the site, having been disturbed at some period by the construction of a cottage and garden. South of the present Hall (a relatively modest building of the early eighteenth century, but incorporating earlier material) is the site of an L-shaped hall, noted on the aforementioned maps. The ground here is hollowed and uneven, and can undoubtedly be identified with the place from which stone foundations, including walls described as 'nearly 3 feet wide', were removed in the early nineteenth century (2).
1. LAO, 3 Cragg 1/22; 2 Cragg 7/2/47-48.
2. Marrat iii, 237.