Ancient Monuments

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Moated site at Balsdon Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Kintbury, West Berkshire

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Latitude: 51.3871 / 51°23'13"N

Longitude: -1.4804 / 1°28'49"W

OS Eastings: 436254.560511

OS Northings: 165468.77007

OS Grid: SU362654

Mapcode National: GBR 70F.YB5

Mapcode Global: VHC20.9D7H

Entry Name: Moated site at Balsdon Farm

Scheduled Date: 13 December 1977

Last Amended: 24 October 1991

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1013243

English Heritage Legacy ID: 12013

County: West Berkshire

Civil Parish: Kintbury

Traditional County: Berkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Berkshire

Church of England Parish: Kintbury

Church of England Diocese: Oxford


The monument includes a circular water-filled moat immediately north-east of
Balsdon Farm. The moat has an external diameter of 75m with a causeway on the
south-west side. The moat survives to a width of between 8 and 12m and
encloses an area c.50m across. Originally the earthwork surrounded the 13th
century manor house of Balsdon. A deep well, formerly within the house, was
recognisable in 1870 but has since been filled in. Much medieval pottery was
found on the interior in 1958. A quantity of fragmentary brick and tile can
still be seen.

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.
It includes a 5 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 particularly important as it survives well and has
high potential for the survival of archaeological or palaeoenvironmental
evidence. This is demonstrated by the recovery of fragmentary brick and tile
as well as quantities of medieval pottery.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
The Victoria History of the County of Berkshire: Volume IV, (1924), 206
'Transactions of the Newbury and District Field Club' in Trans Newbury and District FC, (1870), 132-4
Dennison, E and Darvill, T, HBMC Monument Class Description - Moats, 1988,

Source: Historic England

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