Secklow Hundred mound: a moot at the junction of North Row and North Ninth Street.
Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number: 1007940
Date first listed: 23-Dec-1991
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This copy shows the entry on 20-Mar-2019 at 07:07:33.
The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
District: Milton Keynes (Unitary Authority)
Parish: Central Milton Keynes
National Grid Reference: SP 85124 39177
Reasons for Designation
Moots were open-air meeting places set aside for use by courts and other
bodies who were responsible for the administration and organisation of the
countryside in Anglo-Saxon and medieval England. They were located at
convenient, conspicuous or well-known sites, often centrally placed within the
area under jurisdiction, usually a hundred, wapentake, or shire. The meeting
place could take several forms: a natural feature such as a hilltop, tree or
rock; existing man-made features such as prehistoric standing stones, barrows
or hillforts; or a purpose-built monument such as a mound. Moots appear to
have been first established during the early medieval period between the
seventh and ninth centuries AD. Examples are recorded in the Domesday Book and
other broadly contemporary documents. Initially, moots were situated in open
countryside but, over time, they were relocated in villages or towns. The
construction and use of rural moots declined after the 13th century. The
normal form of purpose-built moot was the moot mound. These take the form of
large, squat, turf-covered mounds with a flat or concave top, usually
surrounded by a ditch. Occasionally, prehistoric barrows were remodelled to
provide suitable sites. It is estimated that there were between 250 and 1000
moots in medieval England, although only a limited number of these were man-
made mounds and only a proportion of these survive today. Moots are generally
a poorly understood class of monument with considerable potential to provide
information on the organisation and administration of land units in the Middle
Ages. They are a comparatively rare and long-lived type of monument and the
earliest examples will be amongst a very small range of sites predating the
Norman Conquest which survive as monumental earthworks and readily appreciable
landscape features. On this basis, all well preserved or historically well
documented moot mounds are identified as nationally important.
Although Secklow Hundred mound was partially excavated in 1978, care was taken in the subsequent reconstruction not to disturb the remainder of the mound; it therefore retains significant archaeological potential. It is one of the few examples of this class of monument to have been studied through excavation and continues to be a readily appreciated feature in the local landscape.
The monument includes the site of a Moot marked by a circular mound 24m in
diameter and up to 1m high with a surrounding ditch 1m wide and 0.3m deep.
The site was discovered in 1976 and partially excavated in 1977 and 1978, so
that the present earthworks are in part a reconstruction on the site of the
original. The excavation revealed a flattened mound of turf construction
surrounded by a circular ditch. Few finds were made, though Roman pottery
from the buried topsoil beneath the mound and medieval pottery from the ditch
fill suggest a construction date between the 4th and 13th centuries A.D..
Secklow Hundred was amalgamated with two others in the fourteenth century to
form Newport Hundred, which met initially in Gayhurst parish and then in
Newport Pagnell itself.
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: 19007
Legacy System: RSM
Books and journals
Adkins, R A, Petchey, M R, 'Archaeol. J.' in Secklow Hundred Mound and Other Meeting Place Mounds in England, (1984), 243-251
SAM File Record, Secklow Hundred Mound,
Title: Wolverton Source Date: Author: Publisher: Surveyor: NAR no: SP 84 SW 11
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