Ancient Monuments

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Moated site at Faldo Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Barton-le-Clay, Central Bedfordshire

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Latitude: 51.9751 / 51°58'30"N

Longitude: -0.437 / 0°26'13"W

OS Eastings: 507456.532669

OS Northings: 231888.962004

OS Grid: TL074318

Mapcode National: GBR G44.4BM

Mapcode Global: VHFR1.CMV8

Entry Name: Moated site at Faldo Farm

Scheduled Date: 21 December 1994

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1009399

English Heritage Legacy ID: 24410

County: Central Bedfordshire

Civil Parish: Barton-le-Clay

Traditional County: Bedfordshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Bedfordshire

Church of England Parish: Barton-le-Cley

Church of England Diocese: St.Albans


Faldo Farm lies on level ground approximately 1km to the north of the Chiltern
Hills and 1km to the north west of the village of Barton-le-Clay. The monument
consists of a medieval moated enclosure with an associated supply channel and
drainage leat.
The enclosure is roughly square in plan, the corners approximately aligned
with the cardinal points of the compass. The north east and south west arms of
the moat are about 60m in length, while the south east arm measures 50m, some
15m less than the opposing arm to the north west. The water filled moat is
about 1.5m deep, and varies between 8m and 10m in width. The moat includes two
extensions: a small semicircular projection at the northern corner, and a 12m
wide, 38m long channel, which forms a continuation of the south eastern arm.
The moat is fed by several springs located in the south eastern arm, and by a
narrow supply channel which enters the moat at the southern corner. The water
level is regulated by an outflow channel, 20m in length, leading from the end
of the eastern moat extension to a modern drain which forms the boundary of
the field to the east.
Entrance to the island is provided by a 10m wide causeway in the centre of the
eastern arm of the moat. The causeway supports a 17th century timber gate
barn, which is a Grade II Listed Building. A modern footbridge spans the south
western arm of the moat.
The island measures approximately 40m north west to south east, and 44m north
east to south west. The interior is occupied by a 16th century, T-plan house
(also a Grade II Listed Building) which contains evidence of earlier origins
and was restored in the 19th century. The area between the gate barn and the
main house contains a short range of outbuildings.
The name "Faldo" is mentioned in documents dating back to 1124, and was
subsequently adopted by the family which held the manor. William de Faldho
held land in the neighbouring parish of Pulloxhill in the 13th century; and in
1324 the estate was restored to the heir of William, son of William de Keynes
of Faldo, who had forfeited his lands to the crown for his part in the Earl of
Lancaster's unsuccessful rebellion. In 1495 the moated site formed part of the
estate of Dunstable Priory Farm at Higham. The farm was recorded lying within
a detached part of the parish of Higham Gobion on an Enclosure Award map dated
1826. Manorial rights were still attached to the moated site in 1762 when the
estate was owned by George Byng, the grandson of Lord Torrington.
The upstanding structures on the island, the gravel surfaces of the driveway
and yard, the surface of the path to the north of the main house, and the
footbridge crossing the south eastern arm of the moat are excluded from the
scheduling, although the ground beneath all these features is included as it
is thought to retain evidence of earlier buildings and features.

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 Faldo Farm is a well preserved example of a small, single
island type which retains evidence of the water management system. The water
logged deposits within the moat will contain both environmental and
artefactual evidence, and the island will retain buried remains of earlier
buildings and features relating to the past use of the site. The monument lies
in close proximity to the moated sites at Brookendgreen Farm, Barton-le-Clay,
and Bury Farm, Sharpenhoe, enabling chronological and social variations
between the sites to be explored. The existence of documents relating to the
ownership of the site further enhances its importance.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Page, W, The Victoria History of the County of Bedfordshire, (1908), 346
Page, W, The Victoria History of the County of Bedfordshire, (1908), 379
'List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest' in District of Mid Bedfordshire: Barton le Clay, (1987)
'Bedfordshire Magazine' in Faldo Farm Moat, , Vol. 10, (1967), 19
Howlitson, M, 'Survey of Moated Sites in Bedfordshire' in Faldo Farm Moat, (1980)
Enclosure Award, CRO MA 56/1/1, (1826)

Source: Historic England

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