Ancient Monuments

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Moated site and fishponds 280m south-east of St Lawrence's Church

A Scheduled Monument in Weston Underwood, Milton Keynes

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Latitude: 52.144 / 52°8'38"N

Longitude: -0.7355 / 0°44'7"W

OS Eastings: 486627.020827

OS Northings: 250275.273244

OS Grid: SP866502

Mapcode National: GBR CYZ.DW8

Mapcode Global: VHDSN.6CJR

Entry Name: Moated site and fishponds 280m south-east of St Lawrence's Church

Scheduled Date: 29 January 1975

Last Amended: 1 December 1993

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1011306

English Heritage Legacy ID: 19087

County: Milton Keynes

Civil Parish: Weston Underwood

Traditional County: Buckinghamshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Buckinghamshire

Church of England Parish: Weston Underwood

Church of England Diocese: Oxford


The monument includes a moated enclosure and associated fishponds situated on
a gentle east facing slope overlooking the valley of the Great Ouse. The
earthworks are believed to date from around 1315, representing the site of the
manor house of the Pevers family. The Pevers held a part of the formerly
larger manor of Weston following its division into two portions in 1088, the
other portion being held by the Nowers. The old lane leading to the moat is
still called Pever's Lane.
The moated enclosure is oval in shape with overall dimensions of 46m north-
west to south-east by 36m north-east to south-west. The interior platform is
raised 0.7m above the surrounding natural ground level, has a flat surface,
and measures 22m north-west to south-east by 15m transversely. The moat ditch
averages 10m in width and 2m in depth and though now dry appears to have been
designed as a wet moat. The south-western side is flanked by a substantial
retaining bank 12m wide. A channel 2m wide is cut through this retaining bank
10m from its southern end and possibly represents the site of a control sluice
linking the moat with a fishpond complex south-east and downslope of the moat.
The dry pond immediately linked to the moat is rectangular in shape, measuring
66m north-east to south-west by 46m north-west to south-east. It is terraced
into the hillslope on its uphill north-west side and is otherwise contained
within retaining banks averaging 8m wide. A drainage channel 2m wide, again
probably the site of a control sluice, is positioned in the north-east corner
of the pond. A second dry pond of similar shape and size lies 60m to the
north-east and is linked to the former by a shallow dry ditch 2m wide and 0.2m
deep. These represent the remains of a water management system probably
designed to function as a fish farm operated by the occupants of the moated

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.

The moated site south-east of St Lawrence's Church survives largely
undisturbed and is a good example of its class. The central platform of the
moat is raised above the surrounding natural ground level and will contain
archaeological remains of the buildings that originally occupied the island.
Environmental evidence relating to the landscape in which the monument was
constructed will survive in the deposits in the ditch and the associated

Source: Historic England


Card no 0461,
NAR Card no SP85SE19,

Source: Historic England

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