Ancient Monuments

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Moated site and two fishponds, Moathouse Cottage

A Scheduled Monument in Sulhamstead, West Berkshire

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Latitude: 51.4062 / 51°24'22"N

Longitude: -1.0788 / 1°4'43"W

OS Eastings: 464167.799386

OS Northings: 167862.852484

OS Grid: SU641678

Mapcode National: GBR B4R.XPZ

Mapcode Global: VHCZH.8X0D

Entry Name: Moated site and two fishponds, Moathouse Cottage

Scheduled Date: 18 January 1977

Last Amended: 6 December 1991

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1013170

English Heritage Legacy ID: 12027

County: West Berkshire

Civil Parish: Sulhamstead

Traditional County: Berkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Berkshire

Church of England Parish: Sulhamstead Abbots and Bannister with Ufton Nervet

Church of England Diocese: Oxford


The monument comprises a complex including a small rectangular moated site and
a pair of fishponds at and north-west of Moathouse Cottage. The moat is
situated south of and abutting the two adjoining fishponds. The complex is
arranged in linear form. The fishponds have external dimensions of 32m square
while the moat measures 50m NW-SE and 33m NE-SW. The island has dimensions of
30m by 15m. The moat averages 10m wide and survives to a depth of up to 1m.
The moat and fishponds are dry, the earthworks of the former being partly
levelled while those of the ponds still stand to around 1m high.
The modern house and areas of concrete to its north-east and south-east are
excluded from the scheduling.

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 seigniorial 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
Berkshire. This site is of particular importance as it survives well as a
small moated site as well as being an excellent example of a water-management
complex comprising both ponds and moat.
The site has high potential for the recovery of archaeological remains.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Ditchfield, , Page (eds), , The Victoria History of the County of Berkshire: Volume I, (1906), 271
Dennison, E and Darvill, T, HBMC Monument Class Description - Moats, 1988,

Source: Historic England

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