Ancient Monuments

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Medieval moat surrounding High Lodge, 400m north east of Kingstanding Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Cornbury and Wychwood, Oxfordshire

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Latitude: 51.8532 / 51°51'11"N

Longitude: -1.5346 / 1°32'4"W

OS Eastings: 432151.12293

OS Northings: 217282.049899

OS Grid: SP321172

Mapcode National: GBR 6TR.NV9

Mapcode Global: VHBZN.CP26

Entry Name: Medieval moat surrounding High Lodge, 400m north east of Kingstanding Farm

Scheduled Date: 13 January 1995

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1008400

English Heritage Legacy ID: 21784

County: Oxfordshire

Civil Parish: Cornbury and Wychwood

Traditional County: Oxfordshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Oxfordshire

Church of England Parish: Leafield with Wychwood

Church of England Diocese: Oxford


The monument includes a square water-filled moat around a house known as High
Lodge, 400m north east of Kingstanding Farm. It occupies a hill which is one
of the highest points in Wychwood Forest.
The moat encloses a roughly square island which measures 25m from north east
to south west and 23.75m from south west to north east. The moat varies in
width on its four sides being up to 3m wide to the north, 5m wide to the east,
6.5m wide to the west and 4m wide to the south. There is a small extension at
its south western corner which runs 9m from the corner of the moat and
measures 5m wide. This pond bay is believed to be the site of the spring which
feeds the moat.
The island is entered by a single causeway 2.5m wide which is located in the
north eastern corner of the site. The island is currently occupied by High
Lodge House and a garden to its rear.
The site was known as Mouslins Lodge in 1797 and is shown on a plan of
Wychwood Forest and Blandford Park drawn in 1815. Until the late 1800's the
lodge was situated within the ancient Wychwood Forest, commanding good views
over the surrounding trees. The lodge would have provided a place for hunting
parties to stay or rest and was run by a keeper who lived on site. The keeper
immediately prior to 1815 is known from estate records to have been called
Nevill Masklyn.
Excluded from the scheduling are the house and associated outbuilding, the
boundary fence, service pipes and their trenches and the surface of the drive
although the ground beneath all of these features is included in the

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.
It includes a 2 metre boundary around the archaeological features,
considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.

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 moat at High Lodge survives well and, despite having been partially built
on, the island will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating
to its construction and use. The site forms an important element of the
medieval landscape of Wychwood Forest and represents the focus of an important
aspect of its former use.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
The Victoria History of the County of Oxfordshire: Volume III, (1954), p 330
PRN 1137 note 3, C.A.O., Moat, (1981)
PRN 1137 note 4, C.A.O., Moat, (1981)
Title: Whychwood Forest and Blandford Park
Source Date: 1815
Estate Map in Cornbury House & C.R.O.

Source: Historic England

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