Ancient Monuments

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Titchmarsh Castle moated site and fishponds

A Scheduled Monument in Titchmarsh, Northamptonshire

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Latitude: 52.4038 / 52°24'13"N

Longitude: -0.4954 / 0°29'43"W

OS Eastings: 502454.757952

OS Northings: 279488.281445

OS Grid: TL024794

Mapcode National: GBR FYV.7KZ

Mapcode Global: VHFNW.CVG3

Entry Name: Titchmarsh Castle moated site and fishponds

Scheduled Date: 23 August 1939

Last Amended: 30 January 1992

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1011038

English Heritage Legacy ID: 13628

County: Northamptonshire

Civil Parish: Titchmarsh

Built-Up Area: Titchmarsh

Traditional County: Northamptonshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Northamptonshire

Church of England Parish: Titchmarsh St Mary the Virgin

Church of England Diocese: Peterborough


This monument lies on the south-eastern edge of Titchmarsh village. It is
composed of the remains of the moated site of Titchmarsh Castle, a fishpond
and the earthworks of the associated water management system.
The moat island is almost completely surrounded by a substantial ditch 3m to
4m deep and up to 15m wide. There is an entrance causeway across the ditch in
the north-west corner of the moat, and in the north-east corner the ditches
have been partly infilled. The moat island is 70m square and in places remains
of stonework can be seen just below the surface; when the area was excavated
in 1887 remains of stone buildings were discovered. It is recorded
that in 1304 John Lovell obtained a licence to crenellate a house on this
site, and in 1346 the house was described as a moated site enclosed with a
stone wall after the manner of a castle. It is known that the buildings were
in a ruined condition by 1363.
Just to the south-east of the moated area lies a large waterfilled fishpond
connected to the moat by a water channel and earthworks surrounding the pond
indicate that it was originally about 30m square. The water was held in the
pond by a massive dam on the south and east sides which still stands up to
3.5m high.
To the west of the moated site is a large rectangular mound and there are
other small irregular mounds to the south west of the moat. These are likely
to be spoil heaps from the original digging of the site and pond.

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.

Titchmarsh Castle is a well documented site with a diversity of well defined
features, including a moated site and a large fishpond. Records show that
substantial stone buildings surrounded by a circular wall and towers were
built on the site, and early excavations of a small part of the moat island
confirmed the presence of such buildings. A large proportion of the moat
island is undisturbed and therefore retains potential for the
preservation of substantial archaeological remains of these buildings.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Royal Commission on Historical Monuments of England, , Archaeological Sites in North East Northamptonshire, (1979), 99-100

Source: Historic England

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