Ancient Monuments

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Moated site with associated earthworks, 770m south of St Mary's Church, south of the junction of Childs Way and Fulmer Street

A Scheduled Monument in Shenley Brook End, Milton Keynes

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Latitude: 52.016 / 52°0'57"N

Longitude: -0.7851 / 0°47'6"W

OS Eastings: 483472.997849

OS Northings: 235987.112628

OS Grid: SP834359

Mapcode National: GBR D0G.DCZ

Mapcode Global: VHDT6.BLTC

Entry Name: Moated site with associated earthworks, 770m south of St Mary's Church, south of the junction of Childs Way and Fulmer Street

Scheduled Date: 20 March 1968

Last Amended: 21 January 1999

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1011311

English Heritage Legacy ID: 19076

County: Milton Keynes

Civil Parish: Shenley Brook End

Built-Up Area: Milton Keynes

Traditional County: Buckinghamshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Buckinghamshire

Church of England Parish: Watling Valley, Milton Keynes

Church of England Diocese: Oxford


The monument includes the visible and buried remains of a medieval moated site
situated at the top of a gentle south east-facing slope towards the northern
end of the former hamlet of Shenley Brook End - east of the road which once
linked this settlement with the related hamlet of Shenley Church End.

The moated site remains visible as a `D'-shaped island, bounded on the north
side by a substantial ditch some 46m long by 5m wide and averaging 1.8m deep.
This feature is seasonally water-filled and the base generally remains
waterlogged throughout the year. The eastern and southern arms of the moat
are largely infilled, although they are known from earlier records to measure
approximately 8m wide. These sections are now represented by a shallow,
outward-facing scarp. The position of the western arm of the moat was noted in
the 1960s, and now lies buried beneath the roadside verge beyond a modern
hedgerow which, broadly speaking, marks the western edge of the island. A
slightly raised oval mound, some 18m by 12m, lies adjacent to the hedgeline
near the middle of the western side of the island. This is thought to
represent the remains of a house platform.

All fences, fenceposts and gates and the metalled surfaces of the footpaths
are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath these features
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.

The moated site and associated earthworks 770m south of St Mary's Church are
well-preserved and will contain valuable archaeological information. The
silts within the ditch, especially those waterlogged or buried within the
infilled sections, will retain environmental evidence for the appearance of
the landscape in which the moated site was set and for the development of
associated agricultural activity. Evidence regarding earlier structures is
expected to survive in the form of buried features on the island, and
artefacts preserved in association with these features, as well as in the
silts of the surrounding ditch, will provide valuable insights into the
duration of the settlement and the lifestyles of its inhabitants.
The moated site, as with other scheduled and unscheduled monuments in Milton
Keynes, makes a major contribution to the historic environment. It serves as
a visible reminder of an earlier form of settlement in the midst of the new
town, and provides a physical link with the records of medieval activity
resulting from archaeological excavations in the vicinity prior to

Source: Historic England


MPP scheduling proposal (failed), Barratt, G, Moated site 200m NE of Dovecote Farm, Shenley Brook End, (1991)
Schedule Entry AM7 (Bucks SAM 90), Saunders, A, Moated Site West of Shenley Lodge, (1967)
Wise, J, Discussion with Bucks C.C. SMR Officer, (1998)

Source: Historic England

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