Moated site, fishponds and associated earthworks, west of All Saints Church, Milton Keynes Village.
Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number: 1007939
Date first listed: 07-Jun-1971
Date of most recent amendment: 23-Dec-1991
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
District: Milton Keynes (Unitary Authority)
Parish: Milton Keynes
National Grid Reference: SP 88644 39180
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.
This moated site includes an associated fishpond complex and an area of ridge and furrow cultivation surviving as earthworks. When considered as a whole, this monument provides a particularly complete example of a medieval agricultural holding of considerable size and wealth.
The monument includes a moated site, associated fishponds and earthworks
situated to the west of All Saint's Church, Milton Keynes village. The moat
lies adjacent to the west wall of the churchyard, itself raised on a platform,
and comprises an enclosed level platform some 45m from north to south by 35m
from east to west. The east and west arms of the moat survive as shallow
hollows, the western side flanked along its outer edge by a broad spread bank.
Around the north the moat is more visible, surviving as a substantial ditch up
to 12m wide by 2m deep. To the south, the inner scarp only of the platform
can be traced. The ditch here opens into a shallow roughly rectangular hollow
and extends to the south of the moat itself, bounded at its southern extent by
a low spread bank. It is probable that this represents a rectangular pond or
mere attached to the moat. Some 170m northwest and linked to the moat by a
series of linear banks and ditches, are the remains of five interlocking
fishponds, all now dry. They extend over an area some 100m north to south by
70m east to west. he fishpond complex is linked to the moat by a shallow
ditch or leat, probably a supply channel from the moat to the ponds. To the
immediate north and parallel to it, a linear bank follows the line of the
leat, ending at its eastern end in a low, flat topped mound of uncertain age
and function. A second shallow hollow runs parallel to the former, north of
the linear bank. It may represent a second supply channel but has more the
appearance of a hollow way. To the south of the fishpond complex an area of
medieval ridge and furrow cultivation can be recognised, averaging 8m wide and
up to 0.7m high. Historical sources suggest that the remains probably
represent the site of a manor house and associated fishfarm, referred to in
1418 as the Pondwykes.
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: 19006
Legacy System: RSM
SMR NO: 3660, Bucks SMR,
SMR NO: 3660, Bucks SMR, Fishpond,
Title: Source Date: 1974 Author: Publisher: Surveyor: NAR NO: SP 83 NE 9
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