Ancient Monuments

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Stoke Albany moated site and fishponds

A Scheduled Monument in Stoke Albany, Northamptonshire

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Latitude: 52.4839 / 52°29'2"N

Longitude: -0.8119 / 0°48'42"W

OS Eastings: 480776.184134

OS Northings: 287994.894683

OS Grid: SP807879

Mapcode National: GBR CTS.CJS

Mapcode Global: VHDQV.WT4Q

Entry Name: Stoke Albany moated site and fishponds

Scheduled Date: 15 January 1992

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1012162

English Heritage Legacy ID: 13629

County: Northamptonshire

Civil Parish: Stoke Albany

Traditional County: Northamptonshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Northamptonshire

Church of England Parish: Stoke Albany St Botolph

Church of England Diocese: Peterborough


The monument lies on the north east side of the village of Stoke Albany. It
consists of a small moated site, three fishponds and associated drainage
channels, which were originally part of the manoria1 complex of Stoke Albany.
The moated area in the centre of the site is approximately 50m square and the
small moat island is surrounded by a ditch which is up to 10m wide and 3m
deep. South of the moat lies the remains of a large rectangular pond with a
dam on its north side. Originally water ran through a channel in the dam and
flowed northwards to supply the moated system and to feed a second large
embanked rectangular fishpond lying north of the moat. To the north of this
second fishpond lies a third shallow and rectangular fishpond, which was
dammed at its north end by a low bank, and remains of a smaller pond lie on
its western side. Parts of the site are still waterlogged as a stream runs
northwards through the monument. The protected area is bounded on the west by
the remains of the medieval ridge and furrow field system.
Records show that the manor of Stoke Albany was held in the 13th century by
William d'Aubigny, and that he was granted fish from the fishpond at Rothwell
to stock these ponds.

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.

Stoke Albany is a well preserved example of a moat and medieval water system
made up of an intricate arrangement of dams, watercourses and fishponds. The
significance of the ponds for fish stocking is documented historically.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Royal Commission on Historical Monuments, , An Inventory of Archaeological sites in central Northamptonshire, (1979), 137

Source: Historic England

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