Ancient Monuments

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Moated site 90m south of Bendyshe Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Bottisham, Cambridgeshire

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Latitude: 52.2195 / 52°13'10"N

Longitude: 0.2595 / 0°15'34"E

OS Eastings: 554445.331378

OS Northings: 260329.276886

OS Grid: TL544603

Mapcode National: GBR M8M.SHQ

Mapcode Global: VHHK5.GG1V

Entry Name: Moated site 90m south of Bendyshe Farm

Scheduled Date: 5 January 2001

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1019175

English Heritage Legacy ID: 33269

County: Cambridgeshire

Civil Parish: Bottisham

Built-Up Area: Bottisham

Traditional County: Cambridgeshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cambridgeshire

Church of England Parish: Bottisham Holy Trinity

Church of England Diocese: Ely


The monument includes a medieval moated site and associated fishpond 90m south
of Bendyshe Farm and 200m south west of the parish church in the village of

The moated site includes a rectangular island measuring approximately 60m
east-west by at least 70m north-south which is raised by at least 0.5m above
the surrounding ground surface. The island is surrounded by a moat on the
east, south and part of the west side measuring up to 9m wide and 2m deep. The
northern arm of the moat, and the northern end of the western arm, have been
infilled and now survive as buried features. Immediately adjacent to the west
of the southern arm and on the same alignment, is a linear pond measuring 80m
long by at least 10m wide, which is thought to represent a fishpond
contemporary with the moated site.

The moated site is believed to be associated with Thomas de Bendish, who held
an estate in the parish in 1288. A large red brick house with a chapel at one
end formerly stood on the island and was demolished in the early 19th century;
this is thought to have been a post-medieval building replacing an earlier
manor house on the site.

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.

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 an important source
of information concerning the economy of various classes of medieval
settlements and institutions.

Despite some partial infilling, the moated site and associated fishpond 90m
south of Bendyshe Farm survive well. The island will retain evidence for
structures and other features relating to the period of occupation. The buried
silts in the base of the moat and pond will contain both artefacts relating to
the period of occupation and environmental evidence for the appearance of the
landscape in which the moated site was set.

Comparisons between this site and further examples, both locally and more
widely, will provide valuable insights into the development of settlement in
medieval England.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Hailstone, E, History of Bottisham, (1873), 88-89
Title: 1st Edition 25" Ordnance Survey Map
Source Date: 1886
Title: 1st Edition Ordnance Survey Map
Source Date: 1886
Title: Enclosure map of Bottisham
Source Date: 1801
CRO: Q/RDc12
Title: Map of the Parish of Bottisham
Source Date: 1793
CRO: R71/38

Source: Historic England

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