Ancient Monuments

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Moated site at Moat House Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Kingston, Cambridgeshire

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Latitude: 52.18 / 52°10'47"N

Longitude: -0.0354 / 0°2'7"W

OS Eastings: 534423.221517

OS Northings: 255342.192902

OS Grid: TL344553

Mapcode National: GBR K64.9VX

Mapcode Global: VHGMR.BGNP

Entry Name: Moated site at Moat House Farm

Scheduled Date: 9 November 2000

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1019178

English Heritage Legacy ID: 33276

County: Cambridgeshire

Civil Parish: Kingston

Built-Up Area: Kingston

Traditional County: Cambridgeshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cambridgeshire

Church of England Parish: Kingston All Saints and St Andrew

Church of England Diocese: Ely


The monument includes a medieval moated site at Moat House Farm, 210m to the
south west of Kingston parish church.

The moated site includes a roughly rectangular island which measures up to
64m north west-south east by 44m north east-south west and is raised by up to
1m above the surrounding ground surface. This is contained by a partly
water-filled moat, measuring up to 9m wide and 2m deep on the north west and
north east sides. The eastern corner of the moat, together with the south
eastern arm and the greater part of the south western arm, were infilled
during the 19th century and now survive as buried features. During the same
period the western corner of the moat was extended to form a pond. Early maps
indicate that access to the island was originally by bridge. Today the island
is approached across the infilled south eastern arm of the moat.

Near the centre of the island is the present Moat House, a Listed Building
Grade II, believed to date from the 16th century, which is excluded from the
scheduling although the ground beneath it is included. A well, now covered
over, lies immediately to the south east of the house.

The moated site is thought to represent the site of the manor of Kingston St
George which is first recorded in 1212 when Maud de Dive held a fee in the
parishes of Kingston, Hatley and Trumpington. In 1235 William St George held
one fee in Hatley and Kingston of the fee of Maud de Dive and the manor
remained in the St George family until 1556 when Francis St George conveyed it
to a Robert Catlyn. In 1569 the manor was united with the manor of Kingston
Wood. More recently the moated site has also been known as Library Farm and
Queen's College Farm, after Queen's College, Cambridge, who owned it from the
early 18th century.

Moat House, the terrace, summerhouse, sheep house, garage, sheds, greenhouses,
fences and gates and all made-up surfaces 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.

Despite some infilling of the moat, the moated site at Moat House Farm
survives well. The island is largely undisturbed by post-medieval and modern
activity and will retain buried evidence for structures and other features
relating to former periods of occupation. The buried silts in the base of the
ditches 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.

Comparative studies between this site and with further examples locally and
more widely, will provide valuable insights into the development of the
nature of settlement in medieval England.

Source: Historic England


RCHM: West Cambs, (1968)
Title: 1st Edition Ordnance Survey Map
Source Date: 1886
CRO: XLVI:9/10
Title: Enclosure map of Kingston
Source Date: 1810
CRO: Q/RDc 25
VCH: Cambs, (1973)

Source: Historic England

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