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Medieval moated site, 408m ENE of Highland's School

A Scheduled Monument in Highlands, Enfield

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.6504 / 51°39'1"N

Longitude: -0.102 / 0°6'7"W

OS Eastings: 531407.134164

OS Northings: 196333.885242

OS Grid: TQ314963

Mapcode National: GBR GB.NYZ

Mapcode Global: VHGQ7.5SY4

Entry Name: Medieval moated site, 408m ENE of Highland's School

Scheduled Date: 14 October 1976

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1001972

English Heritage Legacy ID: LO 143

County: Enfield

Electoral Ward/Division: Highlands

Built-Up Area: Enfield

Traditional County: Middlesex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Greater London

Church of England Parish: St Peter Grange Park

Church of England Diocese: London

Details

The monument includes a medieval moated site surviving as earthworks and below ground remains. It is situated on low lying ground next to Salmon's Brook at the foot of a stream valley in Enfield.
The site is broadly square in shape orientated north east to south west with four equal sides about 55m long. The moat is approximately 12m wide and 1.5m deep with rounded corners and surrounds a square island or platform about 25m long on each side and 1.5m above ground level.
The area was originally known as Old Park. Old Park was a deer park recorded in the Domesday survey, which was incorporated into Enfield Chase in the 12th century. The moat is thought to be the site of the Park Ranger's Lodge before abandonment in favour of a drier location. A survey of 1650 describes an 'earthen-walled building consisting of four rooms below and a barn frame uncovered (not inhabited)'. According to documentary sources the moat was originally fed by a cutting linked to Salmon's Brook. The brook appears to be diverted east around the site as if to respect it.
The monument excludes all modern water pipes, fences and fence posts, gates and gate posts but the ground beneath these features is included, as is the ground above the water pipes.

Sources: Greater London SMR 080695/00/00. NMR TQ39NW15. PastScape 405549.
Middlesex OS Maps (1:2500): 1877, 1896, 1913 and 1935.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Around 6,000 moated sites are known in England. They consist of wide ditches, often or seasonally water-filled, partly or completely enclosing one or more islands of dry ground on which stood domestic or religious buildings. In some cases the islands were used for horticulture. The majority of moated sites served as prestigious aristocratic and seigneurial residences with the provision of a moat intended as a status symbol rather than a practical military defence. The peak period during which moated sites were built was between about 1250 and 1350 and by far the greatest concentration lies in central and eastern parts of England. However, moated sites were built throughout the medieval period, are widely scattered throughout England and exhibit a high level of diversity in their forms and sizes. They form a significant class of medieval monument and are important for the understanding of the distribution of wealth and status in the countryside. Many examples provide conditions favourable to the survival of organic remains.
Despite some limited disturbance in the past, the medieval moated site, 408m ENE of Highland's School is a good example which survives comparatively well. The site will contain archaeological and environmental information relating to the moated site and the landscape in which it was constructed.
Deer parks were areas of land, usually enclosed, set aside and equipped for the management and hunting of deer and other animals. Parks could contain a number of features, including hunting lodges, a park-keeper's house, rabbit warrens, fishponds and enclosures for game, and were usually surrounded by a park pale. Although a small number of parks may have been established in the Anglo-Saxon period, it was the Norman aristocracy's taste for hunting that led to the majority being constructed.
The association of the moated site with a medieval deer park, probably as the site of a park lodge, enhances its importance.

Source: Historic England

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