Ancient Monuments

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Moated site at Manor Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Eltisley, Cambridgeshire

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Latitude: 52.2173 / 52°13'2"N

Longitude: -0.1375 / 0°8'15"W

OS Eastings: 527334.601816

OS Northings: 259314.249723

OS Grid: TL273593

Mapcode National: GBR J43.VDM

Mapcode Global: VHGMH.KJNK

Entry Name: Moated site at Manor Farm

Scheduled Date: 9 November 2000

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1019638

English Heritage Legacy ID: 33274

County: Cambridgeshire

Civil Parish: Eltisley

Built-Up Area: Eltisley

Traditional County: Cambridgeshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cambridgeshire

Church of England Parish: Eltisley St Pandionia and St John the Baptist

Church of England Diocese: Ely


The monument includes a medieval moated site at Manor Farm located 600m to the
south east of the parish church of Eltisley.

The moated site includes a roughly rectangular island, measuring up to 74m
north-south by 64m east-west. This is surrounded by a water-filled moat
measuring an average 12m in width. Access to the island is via a causeway
across the north arm of the moat, which may represent the original access. The
bridge across the south arm of the moat is believed to be modern. A building
platform in the southern half of the island is occupied by Manor Farm House, a
Listed Building Grade II of 15th century origin which is not included in the
scheduling, although the ground beneath it is included. The building platform
measures approximately 12m wide, is raised by up to 1.4m above the surrounding
island and extends for a further 20m beyond the western end of the house,
suggesting that a longer building formerly occupied the site. A further
building platform, measuring approximately 12m north-south by up to 18m
east-west and 0.7m high, occupies the north west corner of the island and is
considered to represent an ancillary structure, such as a dovecote. Remains of
a cobbled yard have been identified to the north of the house. Part of the
northern arm of the moat, to the west of the causeway, has been enlarged, in
the late 19th century, to form a pond, up to 20m wide. A shallow linear
depression in the north part of the island, measuring 20m long and about 5m
wide, is thought to represent the remains of a medieval fishpond, modified in
more recent times to create a small lily pond.

A further moated site at Pond Farm is located 400m to the north and is
scheduled separately (SM33273).

The moated site is thought to represent the manor of Eltisley which in the
12th century was held by the Argentine family of Upleatham, passing by
marriage into the FitzErnis family who held it into the early 14th century. By
1349 the manor was settled on Sir Alexander Goldingham and became known as the
manor of Stowe or Goldinghams. It later passed through marriage to the Mannock
family who owned it until 1657. It was later held by Edward Leeds of Croxton
Park and thereafter descended with the manor of Croxton.

Manor Farm House, all farm buildings, garages, walls, fences, gates, modern
made up surfaces, together with the summerhouse, shed, patio, stone and
concrete steps, garden ornaments, telegraph poles and bridge across the south
arm of the moat 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.
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.

The moated site at Manor Farm survives well. It remains largely undisturbed by
post-medieval and modern activity and will retain buried evidence for
structures and other features relating to the development and character of the
site throughout the periods of occupation. The buried silts in the base of the
moat ditch will contain 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 with further examples, both locally and more
widely, will provide valuable insights into the developments in the nature of
settlement in medieval England.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
The Victoria History of the County of Cambridgeshire
RCHM: West Cambridgeshire, (1968)
Title: Tithe Map of Eltisley
Source Date: 1841
CRO: photostat

Source: Historic England

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