Ancient Monuments

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Moated site at Hug Ditch Court

A Scheduled Monument in Great Shefford, West Berkshire

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Latitude: 51.4694 / 51°28'9"N

Longitude: -1.4397 / 1°26'22"W

OS Eastings: 439017.118242

OS Northings: 174635.544376

OS Grid: SU390746

Mapcode National: GBR 6ZJ.W99

Mapcode Global: VHC1N.0B8F

Entry Name: Moated site at Hug Ditch Court

Scheduled Date: 20 October 1977

Last Amended: 14 September 1990

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1013172

English Heritage Legacy ID: 12029

County: West Berkshire

Civil Parish: Great Shefford

Traditional County: Berkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Berkshire

Church of England Parish: Great Shefford

Church of England Diocese: Oxford


The monument includes a rectangular moated site. The moat is outlined by
mature trees but is now largely backfilled. The site is aligned NW-SE and has
maximum external dimensions of 80m and 55m respectively. The moat averages
10m in width and the island has dimensions of c.60m by 35m. Large sarsen
stones were recorded on the site although there is now no sign of them. The
parch marks of foundations have been seen on the interior of the monument by
the owner during very dry summers. The modern cottage is excluded from the
scheduled area.

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
Berkshire. This example is of particular importance as it is in close
proximity to the contemporary chapel of St Thomas. The site is also low-lying
and therefore has high potential for the survival of palaeoenvironmental

Source: Historic England


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

Source: Historic England

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