Ancient Monuments

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Pirton Grange moated enclosure and associated settling pond, Pirton

A Scheduled Monument in Pirton, Hertfordshire

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Latitude: 51.9836 / 51°59'0"N

Longitude: -0.3668 / 0°22'0"W

OS Eastings: 512254.402861

OS Northings: 232936.280195

OS Grid: TL122329

Mapcode National: GBR H5C.Q2B

Mapcode Global: VHFR2.LDFR

Entry Name: Pirton Grange moated enclosure and associated settling pond, Pirton

Scheduled Date: 18 April 1991

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1012348

English Heritage Legacy ID: 11568

County: Hertfordshire

Civil Parish: Pirton

Traditional County: Hertfordshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Hertfordshire

Church of England Parish: Pirton

Church of England Diocese: St.Albans


The monument includes the remains of a medieval moated enclosure and an
associated settling pond. The moated enclosure is rectangular in shape
measuring c.75m east-west by 55m north-south, inclusive of the c.8m-14m wide
surrounding water-filled moat. The inner edge of the moat is revetted by
wooden timbers. The moat is fed by an inflow channel or leat at the
south-west corner controlled by a sluice. The moat drains into a settling
pond to the north-east via an overflow channel (also included in the
scheduling). The main entrance to the moated island is on the east side and
comprises a bridge and gatehouse located on the site of an earlier bridge
structure observed in the last century. The upstanding remains of the
bridge and gatehouse (listed grade II*) and Pirton Grange and its associated
outhouses (listed grade II* and grade II, respectively) are excluded from
the scheduling, although the ground beneath the buildings is included. A
small modern footbridge crossing the south arm of the moat is similarly
The mound and ponds immediately to the south of the moat are believed to date
to the 19th century and are not included in the scheduling.

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.

Pirton Grange moated site exhibits a diversity of features, including the
hall itself, the bridge and gatehouse, and remains associated with water
control. The significance of the site is increased by its association with a
cluster of four such moated sites at Apsley End.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Sanderson, L M, The Victoria History of the County of Hertfordshire: Volume III, (1912), 44-53
Ref to inventory not seen, Davies, V F Miss, (1990)
SMR record, SMR Record (1986), (1986)

Source: Historic England

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