Ancient Monuments

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Moated site 100m south of Manor Farm, Plaitford

A Scheduled Monument in Melchet Park and Plaitford, Hampshire

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Latitude: 50.9813 / 50°58'52"N

Longitude: -1.6102 / 1°36'36"W

OS Eastings: 427461.951989

OS Northings: 120282.829494

OS Grid: SU274202

Mapcode National: GBR 63Z.FQ0

Mapcode Global: FRA 76JJ.0KF

Entry Name: Moated site 100m south of Manor Farm, Plaitford

Scheduled Date: 14 August 1990

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1012483

English Heritage Legacy ID: 12060

County: Hampshire

Civil Parish: Melchet Park and Plaitford

Traditional County: Wiltshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Hampshire

Church of England Parish: Plaitford St Peter

Church of England Diocese: Salisbury


The monument includes a sub-rectangular moated site situated 100m
south of Manor Farm. The monument is orientated east-west and
surrounded on all but the northern side by a moat. A ditch survives
representing the northern arm, although this is poorly defined. The
moat is fed by water from the River Blackwater and thus fills up when
the river floods. The channel linking the moat to the river is
considered to be original. The site has maximum external dimensions of
90m east-west by 80m north-south. The moat survives to a width of 7m
and a depth of 0.7m enclosing an island of between 50 and 60m square.
Small-scale excavations have revealed 12th/13th century glazed
pottery. Large boulders and flint nodules appear on the island and may
represent part of the original fabric of a building. Historical
sources indicate that the site was held of the king-in-chief for the
service of keeping the park of Melchet. Although the medieval holders
are known by some documentary sources, no evidence survives for the
nature of the manorial buildings.

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.

Although a large number of moated sites are known in England,
relatively few survive in Hampshire. This example is particularly
important as it has high potential for the survival of archaeological
and organic remains. The site also has surviving documentary evidence.
Few moats are known from this part of the county and the monument
therefore also has considerable regional importance.

Source: Historic England


Dennison, E and Darvill, T, HBMC Monument Class Description - Moats, 1988,
Stamper, P, Medieval Hampshire: studies in landscape history, 1983, PhD thesis: University of Southampton

Source: Historic England

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