Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Duncote Farm moated site

A Scheduled Monument in Biggin, Derbyshire

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Latitude: 53.029 / 53°1'44"N

Longitude: -1.6052 / 1°36'18"W

OS Eastings: 426573.67764

OS Northings: 348041.424493

OS Grid: SK265480

Mapcode National: GBR 5B6.2Z5

Mapcode Global: WHCF7.94V7

Entry Name: Duncote Farm moated site

Scheduled Date: 4 February 1994

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1011435

English Heritage Legacy ID: 23308

County: Derbyshire

Civil Parish: Biggin

Traditional County: Derbyshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Derbyshire

Church of England Parish: Hulland Christ Church

Church of England Diocese: Derby


The monument is a moated site and includes a rectangular platform, measuring
30m by 28m, currently enclosed on three sides by a 10m wide moat which is
itself surrounded by an outer bank. Apart from a 10m long stretch at its
north end, the east arm of the moat has been filled-in but survives as a
buried feature. The original entrance onto the moated platform was via a 7m
wide causeway at the north-east corner.
The outer bank is best preserved on the north-east side where it measures 1m
high by 8m wide and is bisected by a 2m wide channel which acted as an outflow
for water draining into the moat at the south-west corner. To the west and
south it has been somewhat disturbed by agricultural activities post-dating
the abandonment of the moat. The slightly sunken floor of a rectangular
building can be seen at the north-west corner of the platform and measures
c.15m by 10m. The history of the site is not known, but the moated house may
have been abandoned in favour of the current farmhouse which has a datestone
inscribed 1796. The surface of the farm track and the fence partially
enclosing the moat 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.
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 site at Duncote Farm is a reasonably well-preserved example of a small
homestead moat which exhibits visible evidence of one building and also
retains the buried remains of other structures on the island. In addition,
recent drainage works in the west arm of the moat have shown that organic and
environmental remains survive in the waterlogged deposits.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
The Victoria History of the County of Derby: Volume I, (1905)
Pilkington, J, A View of the Present State of Derbyshire, (1789)
Craven, D. and Drage, C., Moated Sites List, 1982, SMR

Source: Historic England

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