Ancient Monuments

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Moated site and fishponds at Great Woolstone

A Scheduled Monument in Campbell Park, Milton Keynes

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Latitude: 52.0389 / 52°2'20"N

Longitude: -0.7244 / 0°43'27"W

OS Eastings: 487591.406054

OS Northings: 238605.226136

OS Grid: SP875386

Mapcode National: GBR D0B.3PL

Mapcode Global: VHDT7.D0DS

Entry Name: Moated site and fishponds at Great Woolstone

Scheduled Date: 9 October 1981

Last Amended: 23 December 1991

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1007937

English Heritage Legacy ID: 19004

County: Milton Keynes

Civil Parish: Campbell Park

Built-Up Area: Milton Keynes

Traditional County: Buckinghamshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Buckinghamshire

Church of England Parish: Woughton

Church of England Diocese: Oxford


The monument includes a moated site and fishponds situated between the River
Ouzel and Holy Trinity Church, Great Woolstone. The rectangular moat lies to
the south of Holy Trinity Church. It remains visible on its west and south
sides only, where it is represented by a shallow ditch averaging 6m wide and
0.2m deep. The fishpond complex lies to the east of the church running along
the west bank of the River Ouzel. It includes two well defined dry hollows,
averaging 0.9m deep, identified as fishponds. One is L-shaped with arms some
30m long by 14m wide. The second lies adjoining the first, parallel to its
southern side and at right angles to the river; it is orientated south-west to
north-east and has dimensions of 52m long by 19m. These ponds appear to have
been divided internally to create areas of different water depth. To the
immediate north of these large ponds is a series of lesser ponds; they are
arranged in a linear pattern along the west bank of the river and average some
10m wide and 0.4m deep. These also show evidence for internal division and
the size of these may indicate that they were designed as breeding ponds. In
general all the lesser ponds appear to be positioned to allow drainage into
the larger. The whole complex including the remains of the moat forms an
integrated manorial complex and is accordingly regarded as a single monument.
Holy Trinity Church itself is excluded from the scheduling although the ground
beneath it is included. The former churchyard is also included.

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.

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.

The Woolstone moated site survives reasonably well and is associated with a
well defined fishpond and water management system. Considered as a whole the
complex provides archaeological information on this important aspect of
medieval manorial life.

Source: Historic England


On site interpretive notice, Milton Keynes Archaeological Unit,
SMR NO: 3656, Bucks SMR,

Source: Historic England

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