Ancient Monuments

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Kempston Hardwick moated site

A Scheduled Monument in Stewartby, Bedford

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Latitude: 52.0898 / 52°5'23"N

Longitude: -0.4974 / 0°29'50"W

OS Eastings: 503046.474366

OS Northings: 244560.272533

OS Grid: TL030445

Mapcode National: GBR G2J.T8Q

Mapcode Global: VHFQF.BQFT

Entry Name: Kempston Hardwick moated site

Scheduled Date: 17 October 1990

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1012312

English Heritage Legacy ID: 11553

County: Bedford

Civil Parish: Stewartby

Traditional County: Bedfordshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Bedfordshire

Church of England Parish: Kempston

Church of England Diocese: St.Albans


The monument includes the remains of a Medieval moated enclosure. The
enclosure is rectangular in shape measuring some 80m by 70m inclusive of the
9m wide waterlogged surrounding moat. On the southern side of the moated site
the remains of a stone faced "rustic" entrance causeway can be seen. The
causeway is considered to be a later Post-Medieval landscaped feature
constructed on the site of an earlier entrance causeway. The interior of the
moated island is flat with no upstanding remains of buildings or features
apart from the concrete shell of a Second World War air raid shelter (excluded
from the scheduling although the ground beneath the shelter is included) and
the remains of a modern fence line.

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.
It includes a 2 metre boundary around the archaeological features,
considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.

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.

Kempston Hardwick is a fine example of a Bedfordshire moated site, the
interior of which is substantially undisturbed and the waterlogged moat of
which provides conditions suitable for the survival of organic remains.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Wood, J, Kempston Rural Parish Survey, (1982)
SMR Records, (1987)
Wilcox, M., SMR Record, (1976)

Source: Historic England

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