Ancient Monuments

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Batch Wood, moated manorial site

A Scheduled Monument in Batchwood, Hertfordshire

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Latitude: 51.7706 / 51°46'14"N

Longitude: -0.3492 / 0°20'57"W

OS Eastings: 514000.506495

OS Northings: 209282.146453

OS Grid: TL140092

Mapcode National: GBR H7X.VZN

Mapcode Global: VHFS1.WRRJ

Entry Name: Batch Wood, moated manorial site

Scheduled Date: 10 June 1992

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1012407

English Heritage Legacy ID: 20620

County: Hertfordshire

Electoral Ward/Division: Batchwood

Built-Up Area: St Albans

Traditional County: Hertfordshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Hertfordshire

Church of England Parish: St Albans St Michael

Church of England Diocese: St.Albans


The moated manorial site at Batch Wood is situated west of St Albans and 500m
north-east of Batchwood Hall. It comprises a square shaped moat measuring
c.87m east-west by c.85m north-south surrounded by an outer enclosure covering
an area of approximately 5.5 hectares. The moat arms are dry and measure c.7m
to c.10m in width and c.1m in depth. The entrance causeway, which is
approximately 12m wide, is situated on the southern side of the moat. A well
has been identified in the north-western corner of the island. The outer
enclosure ditch arms measure a maximum of c.1.5m in depth and are between 2m
and 5m in width. The southern arm, however, is wider, measuring c.10m, and
contains the entrance to the enclosure. There are traces of shallow ditches
running both east-west and north-south sub-dividing the enclosure. Earthworks
which are considered to represent the remains of buildings are located inside
the entrance to the outer enclosure. A trackway, measuring between 20m and
10m in width, is visible running to the south and west of the enclosure.
Three additional enclosures can be seen to the south-east, south and west,
separated from the main enclosure by the trackway. The moat is identified as
the site of the manor of Childwicksay or Bachesworth.

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.

The site at Batch Wood is an example of a moated site with an unusually large
and complex attached enclosure. The site is essentially undisturbed and
retains considerable potential for the survival of below ground structural
remains both on the moat island and in the enclosure.

Source: Historic England


Verulamium Museum Survey, (1983)

Source: Historic England

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