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Windmill Pool moated site and associated water control features

A Scheduled Monument in Litchborough, Northamptonshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 52.1776 / 52°10'39"N

Longitude: -1.0706 / 1°4'14"W

OS Eastings: 463645.582429

OS Northings: 253666.641639

OS Grid: SP636536

Mapcode National: GBR 9VH.D4Q

Mapcode Global: VHCVT.DJCH

Entry Name: Windmill Pool moated site and associated water control features

Scheduled Date: 14 July 1995

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1012151

English Heritage Legacy ID: 21612

County: Northamptonshire

Civil Parish: Litchborough

Built-Up Area: Litchborough

Traditional County: Northamptonshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Northamptonshire

Church of England Parish: Lichborough St Martin

Church of England Diocese: Peterborough

Details

The monument known as Windmill Pool is situated 0.5km south east of the
village of Litchborough and includes a moated site, parts of an associated
water managment system and an area of ridge and furrow cultivation.
The moated site has external dimensions of approximately 40m square. The moat
arms measure up to 12m wide and are waterfilled. The western arm projects
southwards beyond the southern arm for a distance of 6m and is also
waterfilled. Two channels are visible at either end of the northern moat arm.
It is unclear how far the channel at the western end of the northern arm of
the moat originally extended northwards because the land to the north of the
moated site is under cultivation and there is no surface evidence for the
channel in this area. The moated island measures 20m north-south and 15m
east-west. An excavation of part of the island in 1981 recovered fragments of
medieval pottery. There is currently no means of access, or any surface
evidence for the original access, onto the island.
Immediately to the east of the moated site are the earthwork remains of ridge
and furrow cultivation. The ridge and furrow, which is aligned north-south,
respects the moated site and the relationship between these features
illustrates the impact of the moated site on the land use of the surrounding
area. The ridge and furrow extends eastwards from the moated site for a
distance of approximately 60m and a 10m wide sample area of the ridge and
furrow is included in the scheduling in order to preserve the relationship
between these earthworks and the moated site.
To the west of the moated site is a large waterfilled pond, roughly square in
plan. A 14m long channel connects the pond with the north western corner of
the western moat arm, while a further channel, approximately 5m wide, is
visible running south westwards from the south western corner of the pond. It
is unclear how far this channel originally continued in this direction since
its southern end has been damaged by the road to the south of the site. There
are two parallel channels to the west of the pond which connect with a
smaller, irregularly-shaped pond situated further west, approximately 84m
north west of the moated site. The original extent of this western pond is
thought to have also been modified by the course of the road and it is not
included in the scheduling, while a 15m length of each of the two channels
which connect the western pond with the north western corner of the larger
pond are included in order to preserve their relationships.
An 1843 tithe map indicates that the moated site and its associated water
control features were situated within a paddock known, at that time, as
Windmill Pool, although the earthworks themselves are not shown on the map.
The windmill, from which the site is thought to take its name, has not been
located.

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

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.

Windmill Pool moated site and its associated water control features survive
well and are unencumbered by modern development. Partial excavation has
confirmed that the moated island retains valuable evidence for the building
which originally existed here. The waterfilled moat arms and water control
channels will retain evidence for the economy of the site's inhabitants and
for the landscape in which they lived.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Books and journals
Royal Commission on Historical Monuments of England, , The County of Northamptonshire96-7
Royal Commission on Historical Monuments of England, , The County of Northamptonshire97

Source: Historic England

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