Moated site at Ruxox Farm


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Date of most recent amendment:


© Crown Copyright and database right 2021. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2021. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
Use of this data is subject to Terms and Conditions.

The above map is for quick reference purposes only and may not be to scale. For a copy of the full scale map, please see the attached PDF - 1007780.pdf

The PDF will be generated from our live systems and may take a few minutes to download depending on how busy our servers are. We apologise for this delay.

This copy shows the entry on 28-Feb-2021 at 10:55:43.


The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Central Bedfordshire (Unitary Authority)
National Grid Reference:
TL 04784 35978

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.

The moated site at Ruxox Farm is a good example of a large Bedfordshire moat which is given added significance by its well documented 12th-century religious associations with the Dunstable Priory. Although partially excavated, the monument retains considerable archaeological evidence including stone buildings in the interior.


The monument at Ruxox Farm is a large, 'D'-shaped moated site enclosing an island measuring at least 250m by 160m. The moat was constructed on a natural promontory overlooking the River Flitt. The northern arm follows the contour of the promontory so that the outer berm of the moat is a metre or so lower than the interior. The straight arm of the moat runs over the crest of the promontory on a north-westerly line, beneath the buildings and gardens of Ruxox Farm. The moat ditch is dry and measures 10-15m wide and up to 3m deep. In the fields to the north of the farm the moat has been backfilled, although its line is discernible as slight linear hollows. The island is generally flat but large fragments of stone scattered near the edges of the moat provide visible evidence that stone buildings once occupied the island edge. Excavations in the north-western corner of the site in 1959 uncovered medieval stone walls, pottery, building materials and window glass, proving that there was a substantial and wealthy residence on the site. Roman pottery and tile fragments were also found and these demonstrate that the moat was constructed on top of the remains of a much earlier settlement. The extent of the moat to the north-west is clearly depicted on the 1881 Ordnance Survey 25-inch map. The site is documented as being granted to the priory of Dunstable in the 12th century and became the residence of priors who had resigned from the main order. The farm buildings and the surface of the trackway leading to the river are excluded from the scheduling but the ground beneath them is included.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number:
Legacy System:


Books and journals
The Victoria History of the County of : Volume III, (1912)
CKC 77-88, (1979)
Gardiner, T H, Some Notes on a Trial Ruxox, Flitwick, 1960, Luton Museum Library
LD 88-92, (1953)
Title: Ordnance Survey 25" Series Source Date: 1881 Author: Publisher: Surveyor:


This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

End of official listing

Your Contributions

Do you know more about this entry?

The following information has been contributed by users volunteering for our Enriching The List project. For small corrections to the List Entry please see our Minor Amendments procedure.

The information and images below are the opinion of the contributor, are not part of the official entry and do not represent the official position of Historic England. We have not checked that the contributions below are factually accurate. Please see our terms and conditions. If you wish to report an issue with a contribution or have a question please email [email protected].