Ancient Monuments

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Whomerley Wood moated site

A Scheduled Monument in Bedwell, Hertfordshire

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Latitude: 51.8977 / 51°53'51"N

Longitude: -0.1893 / 0°11'21"W

OS Eastings: 524682.347961

OS Northings: 223678.592527

OS Grid: TL246236

Mapcode National: GBR J7X.T51

Mapcode Global: VHGP0.NKSK

Entry Name: Whomerley Wood moated site

Scheduled Date: 22 March 1949

Last Amended: 11 April 1991

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1012052

English Heritage Legacy ID: 11515

County: Hertfordshire

Electoral Ward/Division: Bedwell

Built-Up Area: Stevenage

Traditional County: Hertfordshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Hertfordshire

Church of England Parish: Stevenage St Andrew and St George

Church of England Diocese: St.Albans


The monument includes the well-preserved remains of a medieval moat and
its associated outworks. The moat measures some 73m. across and is
roughly square in form. The surrounding ditch measures between 5 and
10m. across and is some 1.5m. deep. The ditch still retains water on the
north and west sides. An entrance causeway crosses the ditch at the
north-west corner. An inner and outer bank are visible on either side of
the ditch which are truncated in places, perhaps due to the limited
excavations of 1924 and 1953. The interior is very uneven and may once
have contained various structural features. There is a water filled
pond just inside the entrance. The narrow entrance causeway leads to a
second moated enclosure to the north-west which is also surrounded by a
5m. wide ditch and which may have been constructed to strengthen the
defences around the entrance.

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 6000 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 or, in some cases, which were used for horticulture.
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.
Whomerley Wood moat is a very fine example of a double island site,
surviving in excellent condition. The ditches are partially water-
logged. The site is considered to have great potential for the
preservation of archaeological and environmental deposits, both within
the ditches and on the island. Small-scale excavations and a survey have
confirmed the interpretation of the site, whilst historical records have
identified the moat as the home of the de Homilies.

Source: Historic England


23/1/1926, Murry, M, (1926)
Bosowitz and Roberts, (1954)

Source: Historic England

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