Medieval moat surrounding High Lodge, 400m north east of Kingstanding Farm


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:


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

West Oxfordshire (District Authority)
Cornbury and Wychwood
National Grid Reference:
SP 32150 17284

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 moat at High Lodge survives well and, despite having been partially built on, the island will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to its construction and use. The site forms an important element of the medieval landscape of Wychwood Forest and represents the focus of an important aspect of its former use.


The monument includes a square water-filled moat around a house known as High Lodge, 400m north east of Kingstanding Farm. It occupies a hill which is one of the highest points in Wychwood Forest. The moat encloses a roughly square island which measures 25m from north east to south west and 23.75m from south west to north east. The moat varies in width on its four sides being up to 3m wide to the north, 5m wide to the east, 6.5m wide to the west and 4m wide to the south. There is a small extension at its south western corner which runs 9m from the corner of the moat and measures 5m wide. This pond bay is believed to be the site of the spring which feeds the moat. The island is entered by a single causeway 2.5m wide which is located in the north eastern corner of the site. The island is currently occupied by High Lodge House and a garden to its rear. The site was known as Mouslins Lodge in 1797 and is shown on a plan of Wychwood Forest and Blandford Park drawn in 1815. Until the late 1800's the lodge was situated within the ancient Wychwood Forest, commanding good views over the surrounding trees. The lodge would have provided a place for hunting parties to stay or rest and was run by a keeper who lived on site. The keeper immediately prior to 1815 is known from estate records to have been called Nevill Masklyn. Excluded from the scheduling are the house and associated outbuilding, the boundary fence, service pipes and their trenches and the surface of the drive although the ground beneath all of these features is included in the scheduling.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract. It includes a 2 metre boundary around the archaeological features, considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.


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 Oxfordshire: Volume III, (1954), p 330
PRN 1137 note 3, C.A.O., Moat, (1981)
PRN 1137 note 4, C.A.O., Moat, (1981)
Title: Whychwood Forest and Blandford Park Source Date: 1815 Author: Publisher: Surveyor: Estate Map in Cornbury House & C.R.O.


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

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