Ancient Monuments

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Moated site at Old Moat Farm

A Scheduled Monument in North Crawley, Milton Keynes

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Latitude: 52.0962 / 52°5'46"N

Longitude: -0.6559 / 0°39'21"W

OS Eastings: 492172.886499

OS Northings: 245056.504829

OS Grid: SP921450

Mapcode National: GBR F0Z.H0X

Mapcode Global: VHFQB.LK3X

Entry Name: Moated site at Old Moat Farm

Scheduled Date: 2 December 1998

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1018761

English Heritage Legacy ID: 32103

County: Milton Keynes

Civil Parish: North Crawley

Traditional County: Buckinghamshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Buckinghamshire

Church of England Parish: Sherington with Chicheley, North Crawley, Astwood and Hardmead

Church of England Diocese: Oxford


The monument includes a small moated site at Old Moat Farm situated to the
west of the Chichlely Road at the northern end of the village of North

The moated site includes a roughly rectangular island, which measures
approximately 48m north east-south west by 26m north west-south east. The
surface of the island is raised by about 1m and the northern quarter occupied
by a 16th century, Grade II Listed house. The house is approached by a modern
brick bridge across the north western arm of the moat and is excluded from the
scheduling although the ground beneath it is included. The island is
surrounded by a ditch with a maximum width of 8m and a depth of approximately
2m which contains flowing water, reaching a depth of approximately 0.9m and
emanating mainly from a spring at the eastern corner. The south west arm of
the ditch extends about 4m beyond the corner of the moat in a north west
direction. An outer bank, approximately 3m wide and thought to be the upcast
from the ditch, is visible on the north east and south east sides.

The moated site is said to have been the original location of the Manor House
of Pateshull or Little Crawley Manor, identified with the four hides of land
belonging to William Fitz Ansculf in 1086. It has, however, also been
tentatively identified as the site of Broughton Manor, one of two subordinate
fees created along the boundary between Great Crawley and Cranfield by either
Walter I de Bolebec or his son Hugh, in the early years of `The Anarchy'- in
the middle of the 12th century. It is thought that the present house was
built by John Broughton between 1519 and 1530 and extended by Thomas Gregory
in 1661.

In addition to the house, the outbuilding and oil tank on the island, the
concrete surface of the farmyard and the farm buildings to the north and the
pipes, fence, corrugated iron and piles of rubble around the moated site are
all 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.

The moated site at Old Moat Farm survives well. The buried silts in the base
of the ditch will contain both artefacts relating to the period of occupation
and environmental evidence for the appearance of the landscape in which the
monument was set. The house, which is excluded from the scheduling, is a good
example of a 16th century timber framed domestic building. It is likely that
evidence of earlier structures, along with associated features relating to the
period of occupation such as wells, yard surfaces and refuse pits will survive
as buried features on the island and these may shed light on the development
of the manor.

The monument lies in an area where moated sites are relatively numerous, and
is situated in close proximity to two such sites; one at East End, North
Crawley and the other at the Manor House, Sherington. 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
The Victoria History of the County of Buckinghamshire - North Crawley, (1927), 327
Chibnall, A C, Beyond Sherington, (1979), 98-101

Source: Historic England

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