Ancient Monuments

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Penne's Place moated site, Aldenham

A Scheduled Monument in Aldenham, Hertfordshire

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Latitude: 51.6584 / 51°39'30"N

Longitude: -0.315 / 0°18'54"W

OS Eastings: 516646.709872

OS Northings: 196861.986257

OS Grid: TQ166968

Mapcode National: GBR 6S.38G

Mapcode Global: VHGQ3.HK9Z

Entry Name: Penne's Place moated site, Aldenham

Scheduled Date: 5 February 1991

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1013001

English Heritage Legacy ID: 11570

County: Hertfordshire

Civil Parish: Aldenham

Traditional County: Hertfordshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Hertfordshire

Church of England Parish: Aldenham

Church of England Diocese: St.Albans


The monument includes the remains of a Medieval moated site. The double
island site consists of two rectangular enclosures. The eastern
enclosure measures c.55m by 130m inclusive of the 12m wide surrounding
water-filled moat. The enlarged south arm has been adapted to form a
concrete-lined bathing pool in the last century. Three weirs within this
moat are also later ornamental features. Within its interior is a
rectangular pond measuring 55m by 8m. The remaining area is flat apart
from a modern wall and pit (excluded from the scheduling). A 0.7m high
external bank flanks the eastern arm of the moat. The second enclosure,
immediately to the west originally measured c.60m by 105m. Only the
north arm currently survives as an earthwork feature, crossed by a
modern causeway. The remaining west and south arms have been infilled in
the past. The flat interior is interpreted as the site of Penne's Place
manor house. The surface make-up of the road crossing the area is
excluded from the scheduling although ground beneath is included.

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.

Penne's Place moat is a good example of a double moated site, and has well
documented connections with the Penne family dating back to the 13th century.
The moat displays a diversity of features including an external bank and
associated pond. As illustrated by observations in 1962-4, despite later
alterations the site retains significant archaeological potential.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
The Victoria History of the County of Hertfordshire: Volume II, (1908), 121
Lawrence, A, The Aldenham House Gardens, (1988), 38-9
Title: Aldenham House and Park
Source Date: 1842
Reproduced by Lawrence ref [2]

Source: Historic England

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