Ancient Monuments

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Moated site 400m east of Penleigh House

A Scheduled Monument in Westbury, Wiltshire

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Latitude: 51.2571 / 51°15'25"N

Longitude: -2.2012 / 2°12'4"W

OS Eastings: 386057.337881

OS Northings: 150899.439411

OS Grid: ST860508

Mapcode National: GBR 1TL.2BK

Mapcode Global: VH978.SNPP

Entry Name: Moated site 400m east of Penleigh House

Scheduled Date: 17 April 1957

Last Amended: 27 March 1990

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1013083

English Heritage Legacy ID: 12038

County: Wiltshire

Civil Parish: Westbury

Built-Up Area: Westbury

Traditional County: Wiltshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Wiltshire

Church of England Parish: Westbury

Church of England Diocese: Salisbury


The monument includes a rectangular moated site 400m east of Penleigh
House. It survives as a partly waterlogged site located on flat low
lying ground. It is aligned north-south with a single causeway at the
west end of the southern arm. The interior platform measures 50m
square and is raised slightly above the level of surrounding land.
The site has maximum external dimensions of 75m square including a
moat 15-20m wide and up to 2m deep. The site survives in an area of
ridge and furrow and probably represents the site of the original
Penleigh manor house.

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, relatively few
survive in Wiltshire. This example is particularly important as it
survives well, has historical connections and displays a good range
of features. There is also high potential for the survival of
archaeological remains and palaeoenvironmental evidence.

Source: Historic England


Dennison, E and Darvill, T, HBMC Monument Class Description - Moats, 1988,

Source: Historic England

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