Ancient Monuments

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Moated enclosures east and west of Love Lane, Ashwell

A Scheduled Monument in Ashwell, Hertfordshire

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Latitude: 52.0464 / 52°2'46"N

Longitude: -0.1754 / 0°10'31"W

OS Eastings: 525224.984335

OS Northings: 240236.702318

OS Grid: TL252402

Mapcode National: GBR J65.QGR

Mapcode Global: VHGN7.XT4M

Entry Name: Moated enclosures east and west of Love Lane, Ashwell

Scheduled Date: 17 October 1990

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1012208

English Heritage Legacy ID: 11558

County: Hertfordshire

Civil Parish: Ashwell

Traditional County: Hertfordshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Hertfordshire

Church of England Parish: Ashwell

Church of England Diocese: St.Albans


The monument includes a double island moated site and an adjacent single
island enclosure. The double island site is located to the east of Love
Lane. It comprises two rectangular shaped enclosures with external
dimensions of c85m east-west by 50m north-south inclusive of the
surrounding moats. The northern of the two enclosures is surrounded by a
10m wide moat, whereas the southern enclosure is defined by a 5m wide
moat. The undulating interior of the two moated islands marks the sites
of Medieval buildings and limited excavations earlier this century
uncovered the foundations of masonry walls within the enclosures. A
number of Medieval artifacts have been recovered from the site.
The western outer edge of the site has been truncated by a small stream
and the modern lane. Some sections of the northern moat have been
backfilled with farm debris.
Adjacent to the west of the double island site is a second moated
enclosure. The enclosure is square in shape measuring c 70m in external
dimensions, inclusive of the 4m wide surrounding moat. A 4m wide outer
scarp flanks its west arm. The east arm of the moat is thought to be
overlain by the adjacent lane. The interior of the moated island is
partially occupied by Ashwell End Farm, dating to the Post-Medieval
period. The house and a small outbuilding are excluded from the
scheduling, but the ground beneath the buildings is included. The uneven
western part of the island may mark the location of earlier buildings
associated with the moated site.
The monument has two protected areas.

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
The survival of two differing types of Medieval moated enclosure in such
close proximity is rare and unusual in Hertfordshire. The enclosures
survive well and have potential for the recovery of further
archaeological remains.

Source: Historic England


Survey, Burley, G, (1986)
Source Date: 1972
OS Survey at Love Lane, Ashwell
Woodford, 1911, Unpub excav report

Source: Historic England

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