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Moor End Castle moated site and fish pond

A Scheduled Monument in Yardley Gobion, Northamptonshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 52.0949 / 52°5'41"N

Longitude: -0.9001 / 0°54'0"W

OS Eastings: 475443.084798

OS Northings: 244637.241626

OS Grid: SP754446

Mapcode National: GBR BY0.M7X

Mapcode Global: VHDSR.BLZW

Entry Name: Moor End Castle moated site and fish pond

Scheduled Date: 9 October 1981

Last Amended: 24 September 1992

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1010806

English Heritage Legacy ID: 13614

County: Northamptonshire

Civil Parish: Yardley Gobion

Built-Up Area: Yardley Gobion

Traditional County: Northamptonshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Northamptonshire

Church of England Parish: Potterspury with Furtho and Yardley Gobion

Church of England Diocese: Peterborough

Details

The monument consists of a rectangular moated site and an associated fishpond
both of which lie to the north of Moor End manor.
The moat fully encloses the island, with a southern ditch about 40m wide and
ditches on the other three sides about 15 to 20m in width. The moat ditches
are completely waterfilled and are fed by a stream which runs from north to
south of the east arm. The stream was also originally connected to the fish
pond which lies to the north of the moat and which is still waterfilled. A
causeway, now submerged, runs from the centre of the west arm of the moat to
the island and indicates the original entrance to the moat island. In the
west ditch of the moat a covered drain running southwards functioned as an
overflow from the nearby fishpond. Remains of a dam and sluice situated at
the southern end of the east arm of the moat assisted the maintenance of water
levels within the moated system. The moat island is 50m square and is planted
with conifers.
This monument is known to have been the site of Moor End Castle, which
belonged to Edward III. Between 1363 and 1369 the king spent almost a
thousand pounds on the repair and improvement of the castle and he lived there
for part of his reign. Also, in the 15th century, the castle was held by
various members of the royal family.

MAP EXTRACT
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.

Moor End moat is a site with important royal connections, being owned by the
royal family in both the 14th and 15th centuries, and occupied by Edward
III during part of his reign. The moat ditches are well preserved and
completely waterlogged thus presenting considerable potential for the
preservation of environmental evidence.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Books and journals
High King's Works742-5

Source: Historic England

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