Ancient Monuments

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Brackenbury Farm moated site 3/4 mile (1210m) north west of Ickenham church

A Scheduled Monument in Ickenham, Hillingdon

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Latitude: 51.5726 / 51°34'21"N

Longitude: -0.4574 / 0°27'26"W

OS Eastings: 507004.167175

OS Northings: 187101.753515

OS Grid: TQ070871

Mapcode National: GBR 1X.PC0

Mapcode Global: VHFSZ.1Q2S

Entry Name: Brackenbury Farm moated site 3/4 mile (1210m) NW of Ickenham church

Scheduled Date: 27 February 1975

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1005555

English Heritage Legacy ID: LO 127

County: Hillingdon

Electoral Ward/Division: Ickenham

Built-Up Area: Hillingdon

Traditional County: Middlesex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Greater London

Church of England Parish: St Mary Harefield

Church of England Diocese: London


Medieval moated site at Brackenbury Farm, 283m south-west of Gatemead Farm

Source: Historic England


This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 30 July 2014. The record has been generated from an "old county number" (OCN) scheduling record. These are monuments that were not reviewed under the Monuments Protection Programme and are some of our oldest designation records.

The monument includes a medieval moated site surviving as an earthworks and archaeological remains. It is situated on low-lying ground west of the River Pinn, north of Copthall Farm.

The site is sub-rectangular in shape but only three sides of the moat survive as an earthwork, although the eastern side will survive as a buried feature, having become in-filled. The moated site has been partially landscaped and several buildings, including Brackenbury House and Farm, occupy part of the interior and eastern side. The moat is orientated NNW to SSE and this length is approximately 75m. The NNW side is about 71m long and the SSE side is 53m long. The original entrance is thought to have been on the eastern side of the moat. The moat has rounded corners and varies between 2.5m and 10m wide.

The moat is the site of the manor of Brackenbury. Documentary sources record the origins of the manor as early as 1312 as a number of holdings, which were united to form a single estate in 1434. Brackenbury was linked with the Harefield estate through much of its history. It apparently took its name from Thomas Brackenbury or de Brakenburgh, a London merchant, who gained the land in 1355. It was first called Brakenburgh or Brackenbury Manor in 1438. It came into the possession of the Newdigate family in the 16th century after which it ceased to be regarded as a manor and by 1558 was considered part of the demesne of Harefield manor. In 1586 it included a farm and 300 acres of land. The current buildings on the site date from the 16th century.

Brackenbury House is Grade II listed.

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 having been disturbed by landscaping and development in the past, the medieval moated site at Brackenbury Farm survives well. The site will contain archaeological information and environmental evidence relating to the moated site and the landscape in which it was constructed.

Source: Historic England


'Harefield: Manors', A History of the County of Middlesex: Vol 3 (1962), 240-246, accessed from Brackenbury manor
Greater London SMR 050498/00/00. NMR TQ08NE22. PastScape 394949.,

Source: Historic England

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