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Moated site 330m south east of Manor Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire

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Latitude: 51.8138 / 51°48'49"N

Longitude: -0.772 / 0°46'19"W

OS Eastings: 484747.555689

OS Northings: 213512.542526

OS Grid: SP847135

Mapcode National: GBR D2Z.9LX

Mapcode Global: VHDV5.KNQW

Entry Name: Moated site 330m south east of Manor Farm

Scheduled Date: 31 October 1972

Last Amended: 8 December 1997

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1017518

English Heritage Legacy ID: 29411

County: Buckinghamshire

Civil Parish: Aylesbury

Built-Up Area: Aylesbury

Traditional County: Buckinghamshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Buckinghamshire

Church of England Parish: Weston Turville

Church of England Diocese: Oxford


The monument includes the visible and buried remains of a large medieval
moated site and part of the surrounding pattern of medieval cultivation
earthworks located on the eastern outskirts of Aylesbury, to the north east of
the junction between the A41(T) and Broughton Lane.

The moated site includes two main islands arranged side by side. Both are
similar in size and roughly square in plan, and together they cover a
rectangular area measuring about 180m from north to south by 90m transversely.
The islands are separated by a broad channel, 18m in width and up to 1m in
depth, which forms part of a wider circuit of comparable, partly buried
ditches surrounding the site.

The northern island contains several broad platforms and numerous minor
undulations reflecting the buried foundations of former structures, some of
which were identified by probing in 1977. The north western corner of the
island shows signs of disturbance, which is believed to have occurred prior to
1862, when documentary evidence records the removal of building materials for
use in the construction of the adjacent farmhouse to the north west (Manor

Fragments of dressed stone are mentioned, and worked pieces (including a
pillar from an arcade and a pieces from the moulded jamb of a large 15th
century window) were noted in the farmhouse garden in 1912. A subterranean
passage, perhaps a medieval drain, was also discovered during this work, and
artefacts collected from the site have included quantities of medieval pottery
and tile dating from the 13th century, an iron key, pewter spoons, and a coin
from the reign of Queen Mary (1553-58).

The southern island, which may have served as an outer courtyard, is largely
level. The south eastern corner is isolated by a narrow adjunct from the main
ditch which defines a small rectanglar enclosure measuring about 40m by 20m.

The field to the south and west of the moated site contains traces of two
furlongs from a medieval open field system which is orientated with the moated
site and clearly contemporary with its use. This relationship is particularly
noticeable to the south where the pattern of ridge and furrow terminates in a
broad headland alongside the moat in order to allow sufficient space to turn
the plough team. A 20m wide sample is included in the scheduling in order to
protect the archaeological relationship between the cultivation earthworks and
the moated site.

Two partly buried channels extend from the north western corner of the moated
site. These are thought to represent part of the original outflow system from
the moat, the supply channel having been replaced by a modern drainage ditch
along the northern boundary of the field. Part of this outflow system: three
adjoining outflow leats and a meandering channel extending some 40m to the
north west of the moat, is included in the scheduling; the modern ditch is not

The moated site has been identified as the possible site of the medieval manor
of Broughton Staveley, or Hollands Manor, which may have been established on
lands given to Missenden Abbey in the first half of the 12th century, and is
reputed to have belonged for a period to the Order of St John of Jerusalem
(the Hospitallers). A chapel, one of two recorded as appendant to Weston
Turville church in a privilege of Pope Alexander III (1159-81) is believed
to have stood on the site, perhaps within the small sub-enclosure on the
southern island.

All electricity poles, fences and fence posts 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.

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.

Although some damage has been caused by the excavation of building material
from part of the northern island, the moated site 330m south east of Manor
Farm remains largely undisturbed. The islands are known to contain further
buried evidence for the substantial buildings which once stood there,
including, perhaps, the remains of the chapel mentioned in documentary
sources. Other evidence from the period of occupation will survive in buried
features such as wells, yard surfaces and refuse pits, each containing
valuable artefactual evidence illustrating the date, duration and character of
the monument's use. The silts within the ditches will also retain discarded
artefacts, and may contain environmental evidence illustrating the development
of the site and the landscape in which it was set. Part of the contemporary
management of the surrounding landscape is clearly visible in the surviving
pattern of medieval cultivation which abuts the moat.

The monument lies in an area where moated sites are relatively numerous, and
is situated in quite close proximity to two such sites; at Manor Farm,
Broughton and Vatche's Farm, Aston Clinton. Comparisons between these sites
will provide valuable insights into developments in the nature of settlement
and society in the medieval period.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Clinch, G, The Victoria History of the County of Buckinghamshire, (1908), 326-7
Clinch, G, The Victoria History of the County of Buckinghamshire, (1908), 324
Eland, G, In Buckinghamshire, (1923), 30
Sheahan, J, History and Topography of Buckinghamshire, (1862), 103/216
Hohler, C, 'Records of Bucks' in Medieval Paving Tiles in Buckinghamshire, , Vol. 14, (1941), 1
Oblique monochrome, Farley, M, A/1/5/16A-17, (1980)
Oblique monochrome, Farley, M, A/15/31/5-7, (1992)
Oblique monochrome, Farley, M, A15/31/5-7, (1992)
Oblique monochrome, St.Joseph, J. K., UE 26-27, (1970)
Oblique monochrome, St.Joseph, J. K., UE 26-27, (1970)
Probe plan (copy held with SMR 0123), Egan, G, Weston Turville Parish - Moat (Double) & Foundations, (1977)
Title: Inclosure Award Map
Source Date: 1799

Source: Historic England

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