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Barton Seagrave moats, fishponds and shrunken medieval village remains

A Scheduled Monument in Barton Seagrave, Northamptonshire

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Latitude: 52.3844 / 52°23'3"N

Longitude: -0.6999 / 0°41'59"W

OS Eastings: 488583.503304

OS Northings: 277060.527199

OS Grid: SP885770

Mapcode National: GBR CW3.HVW

Mapcode Global: VHDRH.TBCF

Entry Name: Barton Seagrave moats, fishponds and shrunken medieval village remains

Scheduled Date: 3 April 1951

Last Amended: 10 June 1992

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1013320

English Heritage Legacy ID: 13630

County: Northamptonshire

Civil Parish: Barton Seagrave

Built-Up Area: Kettering

Traditional County: Northamptonshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Northamptonshire

Church of England Parish: Barton Seagrave St Botolph

Church of England Diocese: Peterborough


The monument lies to the south of Kettering and on the west side of Barton
Seagrave. The site includes two moated enclosures linked by a water channel
and associated fishponds and water channels. To the north east of one of the
moats lies part of the remains of the shrunken medieval village of Barton
The southernmost moat is rectangular, measuring approximately 115m x 68m, and
is surrounded by a ditch up to 2m deep and 20m wide. A causeway lies across
the east ditch of the moat and exposed stonework is visible on the rectangular
moat island. There is an outer bank 1m high on the north and west sides of
the moat ditches and just to the west of the moat lies a rectangular fishpond
fed by a spring. A water channel 0.5m deep, 1m wide and 100m long connects
the south moat to the north moat. The north moat covers an area about 60m
square and is surrounded by a ditch up to 8m wide and 2m deep; there is no
evidence of an entrance causeway. Outer banks are evident on the north and
west sides of the moat. Two deep rectangular depressions on the moat island
are considered to be fishponds and suggest that this moat was an ornamental
feature. In the centre of the monument, between the two moated sites, a water
channel runs from east to west towards a large fishpond, still waterlogged,
which lies in the west of the site. A further water channel runs towards the
east from the centre of the site, and to the east are the earthwork remains of
further channels which formed part of the water management system.
To the north east of the northern moat lies part of the earthwork remains of
the shrunken medieval village of Barton Seagrave. Two rectangular paddocks
bounded by ditches now remain and in the south of the area stands a house
platform. During road widening in the mid 1960s, a considerable amount of
medieval pottery and masonry was uncovered just to the north of this area.
All made up pathways and outbuildings are excluded from the scheduling, but
the ground beneath these features is included.

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

The village, comprising a small group of houses, gardens, yards, streets,
paddocks, often with a green, a manor and a church, and with a community
devoted primarily to agriculture, was a significant component of the rural
landscape in most areas of medieval England, much as it is today. Villages
provided some services to the local community and acted as the main focal
point of ecclesiastical, and often of manorial, administration within each
parish. Although the sites of many of these villages have been occupied
continuously down to the present day, many others declined in size or were
abandoned throughout the medieval and post-medieval periods, particularly
during the 14th and 15th centuries. As a result over 2000 deserted medieval
villages are recorded nationally. The reasons for desertion were varied but
often reflected declining economic viability, changes in land use such as
enclosure or emparkment, or population fluctuations as a result of widespread
epidemics such as the Black Death. As a consequence of their abandonment
these villages are frequently undisturbed by later occupation and contain
well-preserved archaeological deposits. Because they are a common and
long-lived monument type in most parts of England, they provide important
information on the diversity of medieval settlement patterns and farming
economy between the regions and through time.

Barton Seagrave moats and fishponds form a part of a wider settlement which
was deserted as the village either shrank or shifted its focus further
eastwards. Although part of the settlement has continued in use to the modern
day, with consequent disturbance of the earlier remains, earthworks of the
earlier settlement include the various house plots and significantly, two
moats and a fishpond. One of the moats is the location of a prestigious
residence whilst the other appears to have had a more ornamental function.
The moats, fishpond and village remains at Barton Seagrave are well-preserved
and together provide evidence of the changing patterns of medieval farming
settlements in the Northamptonshire countryside.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Royal Commission on Historical Monuments, , An Inventory of Archaeological sites in central Northamptonshire, (1979)

Source: Historic England

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