Ancient Monuments

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Turnpike Farm moated enclosure and associated cultivation earthworks.

A Scheduled Monument in Bolnhurst and Keysoe, Bedford

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Latitude: 52.2266 / 52°13'35"N

Longitude: -0.4085 / 0°24'30"W

OS Eastings: 508803.948199

OS Northings: 259902.251497

OS Grid: TL088599

Mapcode National: GBR G12.CKH

Mapcode Global: VHFPW.V9XF

Entry Name: Turnpike Farm moated enclosure and associated cultivation earthworks.

Scheduled Date: 12 April 1991

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1012069

English Heritage Legacy ID: 11527

County: Bedford

Civil Parish: Bolnhurst and Keysoe

Traditional County: Bedfordshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Bedfordshire

Church of England Parish: Bolnhurst

Church of England Diocese: St.Albans


The monument includes the earthwork and below ground remains of a series
of medieval moated sites with adjacent cultivation earthworks to the
east. The moats form at least 4 contiguous enclosures or islands which
together measure some 175m. by 70m.. The original extent may have been
slightly larger as the earthworks have been cut beyond the field
boundary to the north and by farm buildings to the south. The ditches
are partially water filled and measure up to 10m. wide. Some ditch
sections have been widened to form ponds to the north and south of a
central rectangular enclosure. Two phases of platforms can be seen with
the central enclosure partially overlain by the moat to the south-west.
The central and northern enclosures are subdivided into 4 smaller
platforms, the size and form of which are consistent with interpretation
as occupation platforms for medieval dwellings. East of the enclosures
are the remains of contemporary cultivation earthworks which form a
series of linear ridge and furrows surviving up to 1m. high. The
furlongs are located at right angles to the moats respecting the eastern
boundary of the enclosures. This suggests the earthworks are
contemporary with or later than the moats. Together they form an
associated medieval complex.

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.

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.
The moated sites at Turnpike Farm form an unusually well-preserved
complex of domestic building platforms and cultivation earthworks.
They provide a good example of an integrated layout and design
associated with a rural site of this kind.

Source: Historic England


Beds CC survey, Earthworks at Turnpike Farm, Bolnhurst, (1977)
County Records Office, Various (County Records Office),
CRO, CRO BS 905, (1777)
Title: CRO PDR 19
Source Date: 1845

Source: Historic England

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