Ancient Monuments

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Upend Wood moated site, outer enclosure and fishpond, Stagsden

A Scheduled Monument in Stagsden, Bedford

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Coordinates

Latitude: 52.1323 / 52°7'56"N

Longitude: -0.5903 / 0°35'25"W

OS Eastings: 496584.603182

OS Northings: 249159.15165

OS Grid: SP965491

Mapcode National: GBR F0P.7L2

Mapcode Global: VHFQ5.QN8R

Entry Name: Upend Wood moated site, outer enclosure and fishpond, Stagsden

Scheduled Date: 17 October 1990

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1012207

English Heritage Legacy ID: 11559

County: Bedford

Civil Parish: Stagsden

Traditional County: Bedfordshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Bedfordshire

Church of England Parish: Stagsden

Church of England Diocese: St.Albans

Details

The monument includes a Medieval moated complex believed to be the site
of an early 11th century Royal manor. The monument survives in very good
condition. The moated site is irregular in shape with external
dimensions of approximately 105m by 180m inclusive of the 8-12m wide dry
surrounding moat. An external bank flanks the east arm, with sections
of an inner bank surviving along the south-west and south-east arms. A
10m long leat runs from the centre of the enclosure into the south arm.
A 20m section of the west arm may have been backfilled when the adjacent
field pond was constructed. The interior of the moated island is level
with occasional scatters of stone visible on the surface. The north-east
angle of the moat is enlarged to form a rectangular pond, measuring some
30m by 20m. The pond is considered to be the remains of a contemporary
fishpond. A triangular ancillary enclosure is attached to the south-
east angle of the moat, measuring some 50m by 30m in external
dimensions. Adjacent to the east arm of the moat are the remains of an
outer moated enclosure. The enclosure is rectangular in shape measuring
some 125m by 30m and is defined by a 6m wide moat to the east and by the
moated enclosure and triangular enclosure to the south and west. The
north side is defined by a leat or drain. Entrance to the outer
enclosure is provided by a 3m wide causeway at its south-east corner. A
small mound measuring 5m across and over 2m high is located immediately
inside the causeway and may be the location of a defensive building or
structure. An inner bank also protects the south and east ends of the
enclosure at this point.

MAP EXTRACT
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
understanding the distribution of wealth and status in the countryside.
Many examples provide conditions favourable to the survival of organic
remains.
The moated complex at Upend Wood is a particularly early site dating to
the 11th century. It survives in excellent condition and displays a
diversity of features including a fishpond and outer enclosure. The
significance of the site is increased by its apparent Royal association
with Bishop Odo, brother of William the Conqueror.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Books and journals
Steele-Elliott, , 'BHRS' in BHRS, , Vol. 8, (1924), 4
Other
Letter. SMR ref 2, Hagen, A, (1972)

Source: Historic England

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