Ancient Monuments

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Moated site, fishpond and enclosure at Bordeaux Farms

A Scheduled Monument in Little Chesterford, Essex

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Latitude: 52.0537 / 52°3'13"N

Longitude: 0.1995 / 0°11'58"E

OS Eastings: 550908.69945

OS Northings: 241764.493707

OS Grid: TL509417

Mapcode National: GBR MBN.97R

Mapcode Global: VHHKX.DMVZ

Entry Name: Moated site, fishpond and enclosure at Bordeaux Farms

Scheduled Date: 26 February 1993

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1008700

English Heritage Legacy ID: 20690

County: Essex

Civil Parish: Little Chesterford

Traditional County: Essex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Essex


The monument includes a rectangular moated site with a fishpond and an
associated enclosure situated on the floodplain of the River Cam, 600m west of
Little Chesterford church. The moated site measures 56m SW-NE by 60m SE-NW
and has arms which average 14m in width by 1.6m in depth. The northern arm
remains waterlogged. A causeway 5m wide gives access to the island at its
southern corner. 10m east, and on the same alignment as the moat, is an
associated enclosure which measures 84m north-south by 62m east-west with
ditches between 5m and 7.5m in width and a maximum of 0.5m in depth. The
ditch forming the south-western side of the enclosure is extended
approximately 20m south-eastwards, beyond its junction with the ditch forming
the south-eastern side. Joining the northern arm of the moat and connected by
a small channel is a fishpond, no longer waterfilled, which measures 30m east-
west by 25m north-south and is about 1.6m deep. Further ditches adjacent to
the site to the north and south represent later drainage ditches. The area
was once used for the cultivation of watercress.
The name Bordeaux is mentioned in 1307 and is considered to be connected with
the family of Walter de Burdeaus.

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 moated site at Bordeaux Farms represents a complex type of moated site
with an associated enclosure. It remains essentially undisturbed and as such
will retain archaeological information relating to the occupation and
development of the site, while the ditches will contain environmental evidence
pertaining to the economy of the site and the contemporary landscape in which
it is located.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Reaney, PH, Place names of Essex, (1935)

Source: Historic England

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