Ancient Monuments

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Moated site 300m south-east of Compton House

A Scheduled Monument in Compton and Shawford, Hampshire

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Latitude: 51.028 / 51°1'40"N

Longitude: -1.3246 / 1°19'28"W

OS Eastings: 447463.52036

OS Northings: 125622.513698

OS Grid: SU474256

Mapcode National: GBR 86F.FY0

Mapcode Global: FRA 863D.HST

Entry Name: Moated site 300m south-east of Compton House

Scheduled Date: 27 July 1990

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1012675

English Heritage Legacy ID: 12059

County: Hampshire

Civil Parish: Compton and Shawford

Traditional County: Hampshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Hampshire

Church of England Parish: Compton All Saints

Church of England Diocese: Winchester


The monument includes a moated site situated 300m ESE of Compton
House. The monument survives as an area of low earthworks rectangular
in shape and orientated north-south. The moated site has maximum
external dimensions of c.80m north-south and 65m east-west with
adjacent associated earthworks covering an area of c.154m north-south
by 82m east-west. The moat is currently dry despite the location in an
area of water meadows and proximity to the Itchen navigation. It
survives to a width of 10m and a depth of between 0.5 and 1m. There is
evidence of structures, visible as earthworks, on the island. Test
excavations revealed artefact evidence for activity in and around the
moat dating to the medieval and post- medieval periods. Historical
sources suggest the site was not of manorial status although documents
do suggest structures being associated with the site. These include a
chapel and, in the 17th century, a house with ten hearths. A 16th
century wall runs to the south of the moat for a length of some 75m.

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.

Although a large number of moated sites are known in England,
relatively few survive in Hampshire. This example is particularly
important as it survives well, has high potential for the survival of
organic and archaeological remains and displays a good range of
features. Partial excavation has demonstrated the preservation of
important archaeological deposits both within the moated site and
associated with the adjacent earthworks.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Boismier, WA, HCC Historic Landscape Project, (1985)
Dennison, E and Darvill, T, HBMC Monument Class Description - Moats, 1988,

Source: Historic England

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