Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Bassmead Manor Farm moated enclosure.

A Scheduled Monument in Staploe, Bedford

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Latitude: 52.2371 / 52°14'13"N

Longitude: -0.3319 / 0°19'54"W

OS Eastings: 514005.403826

OS Northings: 261185.601642

OS Grid: TL140611

Mapcode National: GBR H2B.LX6

Mapcode Global: VHGMD.61DD

Entry Name: Bassmead Manor Farm moated enclosure.

Scheduled Date: 19 March 1991

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1012067

English Heritage Legacy ID: 11525

County: Bedford

Civil Parish: Staploe

Traditional County: Bedfordshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Bedfordshire

Church of England Parish: Eaton Socon

Church of England Diocese: St.Albans


The monument includes the remains of a moated enclosure dating to the
medieval period. The moat survives as a rectangular island measuring
some 105m. east-west by 85 m. north-south. The island is surrounded by
water filled ditches measuring some 8 m. wide draining to an outflow
leat at the north-east angle. A further drain is linked to the south-
west corner. The ditches have been revetted along the outer and inner
south and west sides in wood and brick. An outer bank is visible along
part of the western side. Entrance to the moat is on the south side and
has been widened reducing the length of the south-west arm of the ditch.
The interior contains the listed II* medieval Bassmead Manor House
dating to the 15th century which is excluded from the scheduling, though
the ground beneath it is included. The house is believed always to have
been located in the north-west corner. No other contemporary earthworks
are visible on the island. Most of the island is occupied by farm
buildings and extensive areas of concrete yarding. The modern farmyard
and farm buildings on the eastern side of the island, where
archaeological remains are likely to have been extensively damaged, are
excluded from the scheduling. On the western side of the island, the
subsurface remains below the farm buildings are included as this area
has not been extensively affected by modern building work and below
ground remains are considered likely to have survived.

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.
Bassmead Manor moat is a fine example of a moated enclosure. The site
displays a diversity of features including the upstanding remains of
Bassmead Manor, a high quality listed building. Interpretation of the
monument is aided by the existence of historical records.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Williams, S, The Victoria History of the County of Bedfordshire, (1912)
Re Bassmead Manor Farm moated site, (1900)
Title: Map of Bedfordshire (1765)
Source Date: 1765

Source: Historic England

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