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Moated site 200m north west of Chalfont Lodge

A Scheduled Monument in Chalfont St. Peter, Buckinghamshire

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Latitude: 51.6005 / 51°36'1"N

Longitude: -0.5396 / 0°32'22"W

OS Eastings: 501240.392592

OS Northings: 190084.718464

OS Grid: TQ012900

Mapcode National: GBR G8G.ND6

Mapcode Global: VHFSX.L1KC

Entry Name: Moated site 200m north west of Chalfont Lodge

Scheduled Date: 25 July 1996

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1014602

English Heritage Legacy ID: 27153

County: Buckinghamshire

Civil Parish: Chalfont St. Peter

Traditional County: Buckinghamshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Buckinghamshire

Church of England Parish: Chalfont St Peter

Church of England Diocese: Oxford


The moated site lies within the Gerrards Cross Golf Course, situated on the
edge of a broad plateau above the western slopes of the Misbourne Valley, to
the south east of the village of Chalfont St Peter.

The moated enclosure is square in plan and relatively small, measuring only
c.34m along the outer edges of the surrounding ditch. The ditch itself varies
between 0.7m and 1.1m in depth and has steep sloping sides leading to a level
base which varies between 6m and 12m in width. The base is seasonally wet and
contains deep deposits of accumulated humus and silt. A circular depression,
c.2m in diameter, in the western corner of the ditch may have originally
tapped the water table and served as a well during dry conditions, perhaps
flooding the moat at other times. The island measures some 15m across and is
also square, although set slightly north east of centre in respect of the area
of the moat, thereby accounting for the variations in the width of the
surrounding ditch. The surface of the island is raised by some 0.5m above the
level of its surroundings, presumably using the upcast from the excavation of
the moat, and slight undulations on this surface indicate the position of
buried structural remains. There is no evidence for a causeway, and access to
the island is believed to have been provided by a timber bridge, probably
spanning the narrowest, north eastern arm of the moat.

The site has not been excavated, and precise details of date and function
remain to be established. It is too small for any sizeable dwelling and
therefore probably acted as a subsidiary holding of one of the medieval manors
in the parish, probably one of the two larger manors (Chalfont Manor and
Bulstrode Manor), or a small estate held by the Knights Templar in the 13th
century from their manor of Temple Bulstrode in Hedgeley. The site's size and
position, on the other hand, suggest that it could have been used as a small
and conveniently placed hunting lodge, perhaps related to the rights of free
warren successively held by Chalfont Manor between the 13th and 15th
centuries. Certainly this area was a favoured hunting territory by the late
18th century, when an obelisk known as Gott's Monument was erected some 2km to
the north commemorating a stag hunt attended by George III.

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.

The moated site 200m north west of Chalfont Lodge is a well preserved example
of a single island type. Its size and simplicity of design suggests a
specialised use, also implied by the manorial history and local topography.
The island will retain archaeological evidence for the building which the moat
was designed to enhance, its status and period of occupation reflected by
artefacts buried both here and within the silts of the surrounding ditch.
Environmental evidence illustrating the appearance of the landscape in which
the monument was set, which would be a highly significant factor in
determining the function of the site, will survive both in the old ground
surface sealed beneath the raised level of the island and in material in the
lower fills of the ditch.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Mansfield, M, The Victoria History of the County of Buckinghamshire - Burnham Hundred: Chalfont St. Peter, (1925), 193-97
Bennell, J E G, 'Records of Bucks' in The Manor of the Vicarage of Chalfont St. Peter, , Vol. 17, (1965), 392-401
Cantor, L M, Hatherly, J, 'Records of Bucks' in The Medieval Parks of Buckinghamshire, , Vol. 20, (1977), 449
Notes on construction of Chalfont Ho, 0851 Brudenells or Bulstrode Manor,
Ordnance Survey Record Card (Bucks Museums), Geary, E, TQ 09 SW 7: Homestead Moat north west of Chalfont Lodge, (1959)

Source: Historic England

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