Camlet Moat, 274m south-west of Parkside House.
Reasons for Designation
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.
Camlet Moat, 274m south-west of Parkside House is a fine example of a medieval moated site which survives well. It will contain archaeological and environmental information relating to the construction, use and history of the site and the landscape in which the moated site was constructed.
This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 10th September 2014. The record has been generated from an "old county number" (OCN) scheduling record. These are monuments that were not reviewed under the Monuments Protection Programme and are some of our oldest designation records.
The monument includes a medieval moated site, traditionally known as Camlet Moat, surviving as a water-filled earthwork and archaeological remains. It is situated on a south-east facing slope near the summit of Ferny Hill, within the bounds of Trent Country Park at Enfield Chase. The moat is quadrangular in shape and orientated NNE to SSW. The island or platform is about 69m long by 53m wide with rounded corners. It stands up to about 2m above the level of the water in the moat. The moat is on average about 10m wide but varies from 5m wide at the narrowest point on the western side to 15m wide at the corners. On the eastern side is a causeway giving access to the island.
Documentary sources provide evidence that the site was the location of a manor house or hunting lodge. Enfield Chase was a medieval royal hunting forest, which became a landscaped park in the late 18th century. In 1440, a house called ‘the manor of Camelot’ was apparently demolished and the materials used to pay for repairs to Hertford Castle. In 1773, the site is described as ‘the ruins and rubbish of an ancient house’. Later sources also refer to a well situated in the north-east corner and evidence for wooden beams or foundations. The site is marked as ‘Camlet Moat’ on OS Maps of 1866, 1896, 1913 and 1935 (1:2500). Partial excavation was carried out on the site in 1923. Surface finds in the late 20th century included roof tiles, a 14th century green glazed floor tile and a piece of timber dated to 1357. In 2003, an archaeological watching brief carried out during the erection of a new fence revealed no significant finds.
Camlet Moat is within the bounds of Trent Park, a Grade II registered Historic Park and Garden.