Ancient Monuments

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Mavourn moated site, with associated fishponds, enclosures and deserted settlement site

A Scheduled Monument in Bolnhurst and Keysoe, Bedford

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Latitude: 52.2062 / 52°12'22"N

Longitude: -0.4327 / 0°25'57"W

OS Eastings: 507193.4957

OS Northings: 257594.8104

OS Grid: TL071575

Mapcode National: GBR G17.RDH

Mapcode Global: VHFPW.GT24

Entry Name: Mavourn moated site, with associated fishponds, enclosures and deserted settlement site

Scheduled Date: 19 March 1991

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1010913

English Heritage Legacy ID: 11526

County: Bedford

Civil Parish: Bolnhurst and Keysoe

Traditional County: Bedfordshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Bedfordshire

Church of England Parish: Bolnhurst

Church of England Diocese: St.Albans


The monument includes the remains of a medieval moated enclosure,
fishponds, occupation and cultivation earthworks. The moat
has an outer ditch on the west side and external banks to the east.
The outer edge of the moat measures some 95m. by 80m. including a
partially water filled ditch which is about 9m. wide. The above
ground remains of the post medieval farmhouse and farm buildings in
the interior are excluded from the scheduling although the
subsurface area is included as it is considered to preserve the
remains of an earlier medieval building. Part of the latter can still
be seen as a series of low earthworks east of the house. North of
the moat are the remains of a number of fishponds connected by a
series of supply and outflow channels. Also to the north are the
earthworks of a deserted medieval settlement. The visible remains
consist of a series of building platforms, garden plots, ditches and a
hollow-way leading towards the moat. Between the fishponds and the
moat are two square enclosures which may have been constructed
for horticultural purposes.

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

This is an exceptionally fine example of a contemporary medieval
settlement site complex in a rural landscape setting. Deserted
medieval settlements originally functioned as places of residential,
agricultural and industrial activity but many were abandoned in the
14th and 15th centuries following the Black Death and later
epidemics. Sites of this type may consist of various components
including the church, domestic dwellings, gardens, the village green,
fishponds, hollow-ways and other boundary markers. Also associated with
the village was the manor house, often surrounded by a moat, denoting
the higher status of the lord of the manor. The Mavourn moated site is
important in its own right as well as in its association with the
adjacent medieval settlement. Around 6000 moated sites are known in
England. They may exhibit a high diversity in their forms and sizes.
As such they make up a significant class of medieval monument and are
important for the understanding of the distribution of the wealth and
status in the countryside. Many examples provide conditions favourable
to the survival of organic remains. The Mavourn site provides a
high diversity of features including the foundations of the original
manor and ancillary buildings. Leats and ponds relating to the water
management strategies linked to the function of the moat. The
significance of the site is enhanced by its relationship with the
medieval village.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Simco, A, 'Beds Archaeology' in The Moated Site Mavourn Farm, Bolnhurst, (1986), 77-85
Simco, A, 'Beds Archaeology' in The Moated Site Mavourn Farm, Bolnhurst, (1986)
County Records Office, Various (County Records Office),
FN 1097, 1254, A87, Franklin, E, Inventory, (1633)
Title: Tithe map (1847)
Source Date: 1847

Source: Historic England

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