Ancient Monuments

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Astwick Bury moat and associated moated mound

A Scheduled Monument in Astwick, Central Bedfordshire

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Latitude: 52.0316 / 52°1'53"N

Longitude: -0.2298 / 0°13'47"W

OS Eastings: 521532.31189

OS Northings: 238494.692256

OS Grid: TL215384

Mapcode National: GBR J69.NQ0

Mapcode Global: VHGND.Y6VG

Entry Name: Astwick Bury moat and associated moated mound

Scheduled Date: 7 March 1991

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1012063

English Heritage Legacy ID: 11539

County: Central Bedfordshire

Civil Parish: Astwick

Traditional County: Bedfordshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Bedfordshire

Church of England Parish: Astwick

Church of England Diocese: St.Albans


The monument includes the remains of a medieval moat and associated
outer enclosure. The moat is aligned east-west and measures about 75m by
50m in maximum external dimensions. The island is surrounded by an 8m
wide moat and is slightly raised above the surrounding area. It
contains the upstanding remains of the post-medieval farmhouse, a Grade
II listed building. The upstanding remains of the building are excluded
from the scheduling although the ground beneath the building is
included. Entrance to the island is provided by a 2m wide causeway
located at the south-west corner. Modern foot-bridges, also excluded
from the scheduling cross the south and east arms of the moat. A leat at
the south-east corner of the moat turns two angles to form a partially
enclosed area to the east.
Outside the moat, on its south side, is an adjacent moated enclosure. It
is delineated by a narrow drain on its south and west sides while the
moat and its leat define the other two sides. The enclosed island
measures about 60m by 35m and is deliberately mounded some 1.5m higher
than the surrounding area. There is no visible evidence for contemporary
medieval buildings or features on this raised platform. Entrance to the
interior is through a 4m wide causeway at the north-west corner of the
outer enclosure.

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.
Astwick Bury is a well-preserved example of a Bedfordshire moat. It is
unusual in having a subsidiary enclosure with a mound which may relate
to the siting of alternative accommodation and a response to special
water management needs at this low lying monument.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Page, W, The Victoria History of the County of Bedfordshire, (1908), 205
Taylor, A, (1973)

Source: Historic England

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