Moated site, fishpond and enclosure at Bordeaux Farms


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1008700

Date first listed: 26-Feb-1993


Ordnance survey map of Moated site, fishpond and enclosure at Bordeaux Farms
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Essex

District: Uttlesford (District Authority)

Parish: Littlebury

National Grid Reference: TL 50912 41774


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

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 Bordeaux Farms represents a complex type of moated site with an associated enclosure. It remains essentially undisturbed and as such will retain archaeological information relating to the occupation and development of the site, while the ditches will contain environmental evidence pertaining to the economy of the site and the contemporary landscape in which it is located.


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


The monument includes a rectangular moated site with a fishpond and an associated enclosure situated on the floodplain of the River Cam, 600m west of Little Chesterford church. The moated site measures 56m SW-NE by 60m SE-NW and has arms which average 14m in width by 1.6m in depth. The northern arm remains waterlogged. A causeway 5m wide gives access to the island at its southern corner. 10m east, and on the same alignment as the moat, is an associated enclosure which measures 84m north-south by 62m east-west with ditches between 5m and 7.5m in width and a maximum of 0.5m in depth. The ditch forming the south-western side of the enclosure is extended approximately 20m south-eastwards, beyond its junction with the ditch forming the south-eastern side. Joining the northern arm of the moat and connected by a small channel is a fishpond, no longer waterfilled, which measures 30m east- west by 25m north-south and is about 1.6m deep. Further ditches adjacent to the site to the north and south represent later drainage ditches. The area was once used for the cultivation of watercress. The name Bordeaux is mentioned in 1307 and is considered to be connected with the family of Walter de Burdeaus.

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: 20690

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Reaney, PH, Place names of Essex, (1935)

End of official listing