Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Oxhey Hall moated site

A Scheduled Monument in Watford Rural, Hertfordshire

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Latitude: 51.6376 / 51°38'15"N

Longitude: -0.4071 / 0°24'25"W

OS Eastings: 510333.100618

OS Northings: 194402.434155

OS Grid: TQ103944

Mapcode National: GBR 3G.J1J

Mapcode Global: VHFSS.W3NF

Entry Name: Oxhey Hall moated site

Scheduled Date: 2 January 1992

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1010727

English Heritage Legacy ID: 20613

County: Hertfordshire

Civil Parish: Watford Rural

Built-Up Area: Watford

Traditional County: Hertfordshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Hertfordshire

Church of England Parish: Oxhey St Matthew

Church of England Diocese: St.Albans


The moat at Oxhey Hall lies east of Oxhey. It is a rectangular shaped moat
measuring c.102m north-south by c.60m east-west. The arms are between 12m and
13m in width and are c.2m in depth. They are now dry but were originally fed
by a brook to the north which has been re-routed. The eastern arm has been
infilled though it is visible as a slight depression in front of the house.
There is evidence of an external bank running around the three surviving sides
of the moat. It measures approximately 2m in width and 0.5m in height. On
the island is Oxhey Hall, a Grade II listed building, which dates from the
16th century with later alterations and restorations. It is known to have
been the hunting lodge of Henry VIII. The Hall is excluded from the
scheduling but the ground beneath it is included.

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.

Oxhey Hall moated site has royal connections and is well-documented
historically. The monument survives in good condition and the interior of the
moat, which is essentially undisturbed, retains high archaeological potential.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
The Victoria History of the County of : Volume III, (1912)
SMR No: 070250, Information from SMR,

Source: Historic England

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