Ancient Monuments

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Moated site, near Hill House, Old Warden

A Scheduled Monument in Old Warden, Central Bedfordshire

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Latitude: 52.0862 / 52°5'10"N

Longitude: -0.2914 / 0°17'28"W

OS Eastings: 517167.885262

OS Northings: 244474.217019

OS Grid: TL171444

Mapcode National: GBR H49.55C

Mapcode Global: VHGMZ.WTTK

Entry Name: Moated site, near Hill House, Old Warden

Scheduled Date: 16 October 1991

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1013410

English Heritage Legacy ID: 13606

County: Central Bedfordshire

Civil Parish: Old Warden

Traditional County: Bedfordshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Bedfordshire

Church of England Parish: Old Warden

Church of England Diocese: St.Albans


This is a double moated site of unusual plan with various associated water-
filled channels and a fishpond. The site includes a main moat approximately
100m square, which is connected to a smaller enclosure to the north and a
second adjacent moat on the north-east side. A rebuilt seventeenth century
house stands on the first moat island and the wall foundations of further
buildings can be identified nearby. A large mound to the south of the
present house was created recently when debris was removed from the moat
ditches. The foundations of a bridge are visible along the moat's southern
arm. The second moat, of similar size to the first, is connected by a dry
causeway to the main moat and partly overlaps with the northern sub-
enclosure. Only two arms of this moat are visible; the southern and eastern
arms have been infilled. The foundations of a bridge can be seen on the
western arm. A heavily overgrown area to the west of the moated complex is
included within the protected area as it contains various drainage channels
responsible for maintaining the water levels in the moats. The sluice in the
north boundary of the moat is excluded, however the ground around it is
included in the scheduling. Also included is a fish pond to the south which
is connected to the moats via an outlet channel. The rebuilt seventeenth
century house is excluded from the scheduling but the ground beneath is

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.

This moated site is of an unusual double-moated form. It exhibits a range of
features, including a well maintained water management complex.

Source: Historic England


CRO: AD2974, Sale Catalogue of Hill Hall, (1766)

Source: Historic England

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