Ancient Monuments

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The Castle, a moated site at Oaken Corner in Wendover Woods

A Scheduled Monument in Great Missenden, Buckinghamshire

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Latitude: 51.6953 / 51°41'43"N

Longitude: -0.6866 / 0°41'11"W

OS Eastings: 490872.511066

OS Northings: 200437.036358

OS Grid: SP908004

Mapcode National: GBR F5S.M71

Mapcode Global: VHFS8.1NW6

Entry Name: The Castle, a moated site at Oaken Corner in Wendover Woods

Scheduled Date: 9 November 1971

Last Amended: 12 November 1992

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1009539

English Heritage Legacy ID: 19060

County: Buckinghamshire

Civil Parish: Great Missenden

Traditional County: Buckinghamshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Buckinghamshire

Church of England Parish: Great Missenden with Ballinger and Little Hampden

Church of England Diocese: Oxford


The monument includes the remains of a moated enclosure orientated north-west
to south-east and situated immediately above the northern side of a shallow
valley overlooking the A413. The moat is square with rounded corners and has
sides some 80m long. It comprises a well-defined bank and outer ditch of
varying dimensions, although the relative levels of the ditch indicate that
it was never designed to hold water but functioned instead as a dry ditch. On
the north-east side is an original causewayed entrance, the bank and ditch on
both sides turning in towards this entrance. Here the bank and ditch are at
their strongest being some 8m wide and 2m high and 6m wide and 1m deep
respectively. Around the north-west and south-east sides the inner bank
becomes progressively reduced so that at the south-west corner it stands only
0.5m high. Here a modern break cuts both ditch and bank alongside a circular
pit. The size, condition, situation and limited finds of 12th century
pottery, indicate that the site is of a medieval date, possibly the site of an
early manorial house or hunting lodge.

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 Castle moated site survives largely undisturbed and intact; it is an
excellent example of this class of medieval earthwork.

Source: Historic England


Card no 0174,

Source: Historic England

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