Ancient Monuments

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Moated site 130m west of Bere Marsh Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Shillingstone, Dorset

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Latitude: 50.9095 / 50°54'34"N

Longitude: -2.2559 / 2°15'21"W

OS Eastings: 382101.492501

OS Northings: 112256.431508

OS Grid: ST821122

Mapcode National: GBR 1YL.SKH

Mapcode Global: FRA 665P.T2R

Entry Name: Moated site 130m west of Bere Marsh Farm

Scheduled Date: 28 July 1958

Last Amended: 10 August 1999

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1016897

English Heritage Legacy ID: 31074

County: Dorset

Civil Parish: Shillingstone

Traditional County: Dorset

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Dorset

Church of England Parish: Shillingstone Holy Rood

Church of England Diocese: Salisbury


The monument includes a moated site on the floodplain of the River Stour 130m
west of Bere Marsh Farm. The history of the site is unknown but documents
dating back to 1384 refer to the Manor of Bere and the moat may be the site of
the manor house.
The moat has a ditch, 12m wide, surrounding an almost square platform 35m
across. The ditch is waterfilled on the west, south and east sides, now fed by
a spring adjacent to the western side and drained by a channel at its south
eastern corner. There is no sign of an original causeway. There is an outer
bank on the northern, western, and southern sides, up to 7m wide and 0.5m
high. On the south and west sides there is a gap of about 4.5m between the
bank and the edge of the moat while on the northern side it is immediately
adjacent. There are no traces of buildings in the level interior. To the west
of the moat there is a rectangular area, 30m by 8.5m, enclosed by banks on its
southern, western and eastern sides. Two drainage channels lead into it from
the north west and it opens onto a third to the south. It is not clear, on the
basis of current understanding of the site, if these features are associated
with the moat and they are not included in the scheduling.
All fence posts and duck pens are excluded from the scheduling, although the
ground beneath these features is included.

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 moat 130m west of Bere Marsh Farm will contain archaeological and
environmental remains providing information about medieval society, economy
and landscape.

Source: Historic England

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