Ancient Monuments

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Moat and fishpond at Bentham Manor

A Scheduled Monument in Badgeworth, Gloucestershire

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Latitude: 51.8494 / 51°50'57"N

Longitude: -2.1313 / 2°7'52"W

OS Eastings: 391052.002447

OS Northings: 216766.942309

OS Grid: SO910167

Mapcode National: GBR 1LJ.1YN

Mapcode Global: VH94F.0SM3

Entry Name: Moat and fishpond at Bentham Manor

Scheduled Date: 15 June 1999

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1016764

English Heritage Legacy ID: 32331

County: Gloucestershire

Civil Parish: Badgeworth

Traditional County: Gloucestershire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Gloucestershire

Church of England Parish: Great Witcombe St Mary

Church of England Diocese: Gloucester


The monument includes the known surviving extent of a moated site and a
fishpond. The northern arm of the moat, which is about 90m long, survives to
between 6m and 8m in width and up to 1m in depth. The remains of the eastern
and western moat arms are visible where they adjoin the northern arm although
much of their length has been infilled. That part of them within the area of
the scheduling will survive as buried features, but outside the area of the
monument they are obscured by later development and are not therefore included
in the scheduling.
The fishpond, which is about 60m long, has a maximum width of 12m and is
between 1.5m and 2m deep. It was fed by a leat from the north west corner of
the moat. Although not visible at ground level buildings are expected to
survive as buried features in the unoccupied parts of the island.
The ha-ha and all modern fences are excluded from the scheduling, although the
ground beneath them is included.

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.

The moat at Bentham Manor survives reasonably well, despite the presence of
later buildings on part of the island. Buried deposits on the island are
likely to include the remains of medieval structures, and will contain
archaeological information relating to the construction and subsequent
occupation and use of the moated site. The fishpond to the west of the moat
also survives well. Fishponds were of great importance during the medieval
period, as they provided a source of protein during the winter months when
fresh meat was unavailable. The fishpond at Bentham will provide important
information about the status and economy of the moated site. Within the moat
and fishpond, waterlogged deposits are expected to have preserved
archaeological remains relating to the occupation and use of the site, along
with organic material which will provide information about the economy of the
site and the local environment during the medieval period.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Cardew, G A, 'Trans. of the Bristol and Glos. Arch. Society' in The Moats or Waterfronts of the Vale of Severn, , Vol. XXI, (1898), 65

Source: Historic England

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