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Moated site and associated enclosure at Church Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Barkham, Wokingham

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.3909 / 51°23'27"N

Longitude: -0.874 / 0°52'26"W

OS Eastings: 478438.722546

OS Northings: 166363.953849

OS Grid: SU784663

Mapcode National: GBR C6K.MV3

Mapcode Global: VHDX7.S9SK

Entry Name: Moated site and associated enclosure at Church Farm

Scheduled Date: 3 March 1977

Last Amended: 3 May 1990

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1013181

English Heritage Legacy ID: 12022

County: Wokingham

Civil Parish: Barkham

Traditional County: Berkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Berkshire

Church of England Parish: Barkham

Church of England Diocese: Oxford

Details

The monument includes a moated site and an associated enclosure immediately
south-east of St. James's Church. The moat is water-filled and in good
condition. It is of irregular shape with external dimensions of approximately
75m NE-SW and 50m NW-SE and with a causeway on the north-west side. The moat
varies in width between 5 and 7m while the island has dimensions of 50m NE-SW
and 40m NW-SE. Observations in 1982 suggested at least one recut of the moat
and deliberate backfilling after the middle ages. Adjacent to the moat on the
north-east side is a field with dimensions of 60m NW-SE by 45m NE-SW. It is
surrounded on all sides by a ditch and stands 0.5m higher than surrounding
land. It is considered to represent the farmyard area of the original manor.
Excluded from the scheduling are the modern Church cottage and two
outbuildings.

MAP EXTRACT
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.

Although a large number of moated sites are known in England, relatively few
survive in Berkshire. This example (the probable site of the medieval manor)
survives particularly well and its importance is enhanced by its proximity to
the contemporary church of St. James. The site also has potential for further
archaeological investigations following observations in 1982.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Books and journals
Fasham, P, Observation of a sewer trench at Church Cottage moated site, (1982)
Other
West Cambridgeshire, Royal Commission on Historical Monuments, An Inventory of Historical Monuments in Cambridgeshire, (1968)

Source: Historic England

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