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Moated site at Manor Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Grantchester, Cambridgeshire

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Latitude: 52.1776 / 52°10'39"N

Longitude: 0.0944 / 0°5'39"E

OS Eastings: 543302.527933

OS Northings: 255323.254054

OS Grid: TL433553

Mapcode National: GBR L7N.DP5

Mapcode Global: VHHK8.LJ7J

Entry Name: Moated site at Manor Farm

Scheduled Date: 1 May 1952

Last Amended: 11 February 2002

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1020440

English Heritage Legacy ID: 33283

County: Cambridgeshire

Civil Parish: Grantchester

Built-Up Area: Grantchester

Traditional County: Cambridgeshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cambridgeshire

Church of England Parish: Grantchester St Andrew and St Mary

Church of England Diocese: Ely


The monument includes a medieval moated site located at Manor Farm,
approximately 150m south of the parish church of St Mary and St Andrew.

The moated site incorporates two adjacent islands, both rectangular in plan,
the western island being raised by about 1m above the eastern island. The
ground surrounding the moated site slopes gently down to the east, and the
eastern part of the eastern island has therefore been raised in order to
create a level platform on which buildings, such as the manor house, could
be erected. The eastern island measures approximately 66m east-west by 100m
north-south and the western island, which measures a maximum of 80m east-west
by at least 96m north-south, may have been used as a garden or stock
enclosure. Two ponds, formerly visible on the western island, have been
infilled but will survive in the form of buried archaeological deposits. The
two islands are enclosed on the south and west by a waterfilled moat; shallow
linear depressions indicate the position of the eastern arm of the moat and
the intervening arm between the two islands, which were infilled in the 19th
century and now survive as partly buried features. The western part of the
northern moat is also thought to survive as a buried feature. The north
eastern part of the moated site has been altered by later development and is
not included in the scheduling.

The moated site is associated with the manor of Jaks, which in about 1400
included several estates assembled by the family of Grantchester. At the time
of the Domesday Survey, two knights of Count Eustace held of him two and a
half hides, which were subsequently divided into two manors based in
Grantchester and Coton. By the 12th century the land in Grantchester was owned
by the Fercles family, and by 1257 it had passed through marriage into the
ownership of John le Moyne and William Appleford, who divided it equally
between them. John le Moyne transferred his half to Hugh de Sengham in 1259
and by 1352 it was bought by John Grantchester, whose family already owned
substantial lands in the parish. John died in 1362 and the manor then became
known by the name of `Jaks' after John's son Jake, who inherited it in about
1371, when he came of age. In 1427 Henry Somer acquired the manor of Jaks
together with the manor of Burwash, selling them in 1452 to King's College.
The present 15th century house, approximately 30m to the north of the
scheduled site and not included in the scheduling, is recorded as having been
owned by Henry Somer and is thought to represent a successor to an earlier
house, which was situated on the moated site.

The barns on the western island, together with the oil and water tanks, gates,
fences, sheds, bridges, the north-south concrete trackways and all other man
made 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 infilling of the some of the ditches, the moated site at Manor Farm
survives well. The greater parts of the two islands are largely undisturbed
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 monument was set.
Comparisons between this site with further examples, both locally and more
widely, will provide valuable insights into developments in the nature of
settlements and society in the medieval period.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
The Victoria History of the County of Cambridgeshire200-204
Saltmarsh, J, The Fields of Grantchester, (1958)
Salzman, L F, The Victoria History of the County of Cambridgeshire and the Isle of Ely, (1948), 31
'PCAS' in Notes on Remains of Moats at Coton, Grantchester etc., , Vol. 3, (1873), 288-289
Paterson, H, FMW Report, (1986)
RCHM: West Cambs, (1968)
Title: 1st Edition Ordnance Survey Map
Source Date: 1885
Title: Enclosure map
Source Date: 1799
CRO: P79/26/2

Source: Historic England

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