Ancient Monuments

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Moated site in Moyne's Wood

A Scheduled Monument in Steeple Morden, Cambridgeshire

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Latitude: 52.0924 / 52°5'32"N

Longitude: -0.1047 / 0°6'16"W

OS Eastings: 529941.826544

OS Northings: 245482.335361

OS Grid: TL299454

Mapcode National: GBR K70.Y2M

Mapcode Global: VHGN3.4NJS

Entry Name: Moated site in Moyne's Wood

Scheduled Date: 28 January 2003

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1020921

English Heritage Legacy ID: 33598

County: Cambridgeshire

Civil Parish: Steeple Morden

Traditional County: Cambridgeshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cambridgeshire

Church of England Parish: Abington Pigotts St Michael and All Angels

Church of England Diocese: Ely


The monument includes a medieval moated site situated in Moyne's Wood,
450m south east of Flecks Lane Farm.

The moat defines a sub-rectangular area measuring about 70m north east to
south west by 40m north west to south east, with a cross ditch dividing
the interior. The substantial moat is seasonally wet except to the south
east where it has been partly infilled. No original causeway is apparent,
that to the south east being modern. The south western arm of the moat
extends to the north west for about 60m until it joins the modern drainage
system linked to the Running Ditch to the west. It is thought that the
moat was originally filled from this north western extension, probably
with a leat (channel) at the eastern corner of the moat serving as an
overflow drain.

The two islands formed by the cross ditch are nearly equal in size. The
north eastern island is slightly larger and more regular in shape and its
surface is raised by approximately 0.6m. The south western island is also
slightly raised. It is thought that the northern island was the site of
the manor house whilst ancillary buildings such as stables and stores
would have been located on the southern island. The buried remains of
these structures are thought to survive.

The site is associated with the manor of Moynes which takes its name from
the le Moyne family who held the manor from the mid-13th century until
1315 when Thomas le Moyne disposed of it to `a stranger'. The newcomer,
ill disposed towards his neighbours, was eventually killed. By 1346 the
manor was again in the hands of the le Moynes but passed to John Pigot, a
London merchant, in about 1465.

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 in Moyne's Wood is a well-preserved and largely
undisturbed example of a double island moat. The islands will retain
buried archaeological deposits, including structural remains and
artefacts, relating to the former manor house and associated buildings.
These will provide valuable information concerning the period of use and
the status and lifestyles of the occupants. The moat will retain further
artefacts together with waterlogged organic and environmental deposits
which provide dietary information amd may illustrate the nature of the
landscape in which the monument was set.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Philips, C W, The Victoria History of the County of Cambridgeshire, (1948)
Salzman, L F, The Victoria History of the County of Cambridgeshire and the Isle of Ely, (1982)

Source: Historic England

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