Ancient Monuments

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Malting Spinney Medieval moat, associated outer enclosure and cultivation earthworks, Ridgmont

A Scheduled Monument in Ridgmont, Central Bedfordshire

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Latitude: 52.012 / 52°0'43"N

Longitude: -0.565 / 0°33'53"W

OS Eastings: 498586.266686

OS Northings: 235817.887559

OS Grid: SP985358

Mapcode National: GBR F22.V98

Mapcode Global: VHFQS.5P5F

Entry Name: Malting Spinney Medieval moat, associated outer enclosure and cultivation earthworks, Ridgmont

Scheduled Date: 16 January 1991

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1012698

English Heritage Legacy ID: 11551

County: Central Bedfordshire

Civil Parish: Ridgmont

Traditional County: Bedfordshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Bedfordshire

Church of England Parish: Ridgmont

Church of England Diocese: St.Albans


The monument includes the remains of a Medieval moated enclosure and its
associated outer enclosure and cultivation earthworks. The moated
enclosure is rhomboidal in shape measuring some 40m across including the
12m wide surrounding moat. The island is raised 1m higher than the
adjacent area. The moat is currently dry with no evidence for the
location of an entrance causeway or bridge.
Adjoining the moated enclosure is a rectangular outer court or
enclosure. The outer enclosure measures some 75m by 110m and is defined
by a 8m wide ditch along its northern and western sides, connected to
the moat at its north angle. The southern and eastern boundaries of the
outer enclosure are defined by a low outer bank and ditch which join the
moated enclosure at its south angle. The interior of the outer enclosure
is level with no visible remains of buildings or features recorded as
existing at the site. Immediately to the south-east of the moat and
outer enclosure are the well-preserved remains of cultivation
earthworks. The ridges and furrows of this relict field system stop
short of the outer enclosure, and are therefore considered to be later
or contemporary with the outer court.

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 in Malting Spinney includes a fine example of a small moated
enclosure associated with an outer court and surviving cultivation
traces. Its importance is enhanced by being part of a well articulated
Medieval complex which also includes the nearby Segenhoe Manor, deserted
settlement and Church.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
The Victoria History of the County of Malting Spinney
Ordnance Survey record, P.A.S. (Re Malting Spinney), (1973)
SMR record, CRO 100/16 LR 2/208, 40 Eliz 1 1598 & LR 2/195 Reg. Eliz 1,
SMR Record, CRO: WG 362, 1772 lease,

Source: Historic England

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