Secklow Hundred mound: a moot at the junction of North Row and North Ninth Street.

Overview

Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1007940

Date first listed: 23-Dec-1991

Map

Ordnance survey map of Secklow Hundred mound: a moot at the junction of North Row and North Ninth Street.
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2018. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
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Location

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

Summary

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

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.

History

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

Details

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.

Legacy

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

Legacy System number: 19007

Legacy System: RSM

Sources

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
Other
SAM File Record, Secklow Hundred Mound,
Title: Wolverton Source Date: Author: Publisher: Surveyor: NAR no: SP 84 SW 11

End of official listing