Ancient Monuments

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Upper Lyveden moated site

A Scheduled Monument in Aldwincle, Northamptonshire

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Latitude: 52.4712 / 52°28'16"N

Longitude: -0.5437 / 0°32'37"W

OS Eastings: 499018.409294

OS Northings: 286915.783957

OS Grid: SP990869

Mapcode National: GBR FY0.1C7

Mapcode Global: VHFNN.J4FX

Entry Name: Upper Lyveden moated site

Scheduled Date: 7 January 1992

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1010662

English Heritage Legacy ID: 13634

County: Northamptonshire

Civil Parish: Aldwincle

Traditional County: Northamptonshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Northamptonshire

Church of England Parish: Pilton All Saints and St Mary

Church of England Diocese: Peterborough


This moated site lies to the north east of Lyveden Manor and is sited upon the
higher slopes of the valley. The moat island is about 25m square and is
surrounded by a flat bottomed ditch up to 2m deep which varies between 10m and
20m in width. Water for the moat ditches was supplied both by seepage down
the hill side and by a spring. A bank about 2m high assisted water retention
in the ditch on the south eastward, downhill side, and the widest ditch on the
south east is still partially waterlogged. Around the site medieval pottery,
including St Neots ware, has been found. The moat is historically documented
as being a prestigious residence which was closely associated with the two
fishponds and ploughed earthwork remains of the medieval village to the west.
Finds nearby have included remains of kilns, and considerable quantities of
medieval pottery. Both the fishponds and earthworks have been much altered
and severely degraded by ploughing and are therefore excluded from 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.

Upper Lyveden moat lies in an unusual position on a hillside and illustrates
the wide range of variation in the topographical setting of monuments of this
type. The site is well preserved and largely undisturbed with partially
waterlogged ditches and therefore has both archaeological and environmental

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Royal Commission on Historical Monuments of England, , Archaeological Sites in North East Northamptonshire , (1975), 73-4

Source: Historic England

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