Ancient Monuments

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Moated site 110m south west of St Mary's Church

A Scheduled Monument in Ludgershall, Buckinghamshire

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Latitude: 51.8486 / 51°50'55"N

Longitude: -1.0442 / 1°2'39"W

OS Eastings: 465934.876695

OS Northings: 217103.821439

OS Grid: SP659171

Mapcode National: GBR 9ZL.0TK

Mapcode Global: VHCXC.VSBP

Entry Name: Moated site 110m south west of St Mary's Church

Scheduled Date: 23 October 1970

Last Amended: 2 December 1998

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1018762

English Heritage Legacy ID: 32105

County: Buckinghamshire

Civil Parish: Ludgershall

Built-Up Area: Ludgershall

Traditional County: Buckinghamshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Buckinghamshire

Church of England Parish: Ludgershall

Church of England Diocese: Oxford


The monument includes a medieval moated site with associated fishponds, a
building platform, a hollow way and the remains of settlement earthworks. It
is sited towards the south western corner of the village of Ludgershall
between Brill Road and the railway line.
The moated site includes a roughly rectangular island measuring approximately
42m NNW-SSE by 26m ENE-WSW which is raised approximately 0.5m above the
surrounding ground level. This is contained by a ditch averaging 8m across and
1m deep, the flat base of which is seasonally wet. An outer bank, thought to
be the upcast from the ditch, is visible on the west and east sides. Access to
the island is thought to have been by bridge. A shallow hollow, approximately
1m in diameter, which lies towards the southern end of the east side of the
island is thought to mark the site of such a structure. Two leats, each about
1m wide, extend in a roughly northerly direction from the two northern corners
of the moat for a maximum of 6m before being truncated by a modern drainage
ditch marking the northern boundary of the field.
About 18m to the west of the moat and parallel with its western arm is a large
fishpond which measures approximately 68m long, a maximum of 8m wide and 0.4m
deep. A bank, measuring up to 4m wide, on the western side, is thought to be
upcast from the pond. Between the fishpond and the northern end of the western
arm of the moat is a further small fishpond, similarly aligned, which measures
about 14m long, 6m wide and 0.3m wide. The northern ends of both fishponds are
truncated by the modern field boundary to the north, which is not included in
the scheduling.
Approximately 28m from the south east corner of, and aligned with, the moat is
a building platform which measures about 14m north to south by 20m east to
west and about 0.3m high which is considered to represent an ancillary
structure related to the moated site: perhaps a stable, barn or other
A hollow way runs in a westerly direction from the Brill Road passing between
the moat and the building platform before fading out towards the southern end
of the large fishpond. Poorly defined earthworks immediately to the south of
the hollow way are thought to represent associated settlement activity and a
small sample of these is included in the scheduling.
The field in which the moat stands is shown as `Dove House Close' on the 1780
inclosure map suggesting that it may, at one time, have contained a dovecote.
The Antiquarian George Lipscomb, writing in 1847, mentions that the plot of
land on which the moat stands was traditionally known as `King Ludd's Hall'.

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 and associated earthworks 110m south west of St Mary's
Church survive well. It is largely undisturbed and both the moated site and
associated building platform will retain evidence for structures and other
features relating to the period of occupation. The buried silts in the base of
the moat 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.
Fishponds are artificially created pools of slow moving fresh water
constructed for the purpose of cultivating, breeding and storing fish in order
to provide a constant and sustainable food supply. The tradition of
constructing and using fishponds began in the medieval period and reached a
peak of popularity in the 12th century. They were largely the province of the
wealthier sectors of medieval society, and are considered important as a
source of information concerning the economy of various classes of medieval
settlements and institutions. The fishponds and other earthworks south west of
St Mary's Church survive well and will provide further evidence for the
economy and status of the site.
This monument lies in an area where moated sites are relatively numerous, and
a further moated site is situated approximately 2.5km away at Tetchwick.
Comparisons between sites such as these will provide valuable insights into
developments into the nature of settlement and society in the medieval period.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Lipscomb, G, History and Antiquities of the County of Buckingham, (1847), 305,311
Sheahan, J, History and Topography of Buckinghamshire, (1862), 398
Contract no 533 print 3362 (run 215), British Gas Cartographical Services Ltd,
Contract no 533 print 3362 (run 215), British Gas Cartological Services Ltd,
Contract no 533 print 3363 (run 215), British Gas Cartographical Services Ltd,
Title: Ludgershall Inclosure Map
Source Date: 1780
BRO ref: IR/109R

Source: Historic England

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