Moated site at Faldo Farm


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1009399

Date first listed: 21-Dec-1994


Ordnance survey map of Moated site at Faldo Farm
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: Central Bedfordshire (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Barton-le-Clay

National Grid Reference: TL 07474 31889


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 Faldo Farm is a well preserved example of a small, single island type which retains evidence of the water management system. The water logged deposits within the moat will contain both environmental and artefactual evidence, and the island will retain buried remains of earlier buildings and features relating to the past use of the site. The monument lies in close proximity to the moated sites at Brookendgreen Farm, Barton-le-Clay, and Bury Farm, Sharpenhoe, enabling chronological and social variations between the sites to be explored. The existence of documents relating to the ownership of the site further enhances its importance.


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


Faldo Farm lies on level ground approximately 1km to the north of the Chiltern Hills and 1km to the north west of the village of Barton-le-Clay. The monument consists of a medieval moated enclosure with an associated supply channel and drainage leat. The enclosure is roughly square in plan, the corners approximately aligned with the cardinal points of the compass. The north east and south west arms of the moat are about 60m in length, while the south east arm measures 50m, some 15m less than the opposing arm to the north west. The water filled moat is about 1.5m deep, and varies between 8m and 10m in width. The moat includes two extensions: a small semicircular projection at the northern corner, and a 12m wide, 38m long channel, which forms a continuation of the south eastern arm. The moat is fed by several springs located in the south eastern arm, and by a narrow supply channel which enters the moat at the southern corner. The water level is regulated by an outflow channel, 20m in length, leading from the end of the eastern moat extension to a modern drain which forms the boundary of the field to the east. Entrance to the island is provided by a 10m wide causeway in the centre of the eastern arm of the moat. The causeway supports a 17th century timber gate barn, which is a Grade II Listed Building. A modern footbridge spans the south western arm of the moat. The island measures approximately 40m north west to south east, and 44m north east to south west. The interior is occupied by a 16th century, T-plan house (also a Grade II Listed Building) which contains evidence of earlier origins and was restored in the 19th century. The area between the gate barn and the main house contains a short range of outbuildings. The name "Faldo" is mentioned in documents dating back to 1124, and was subsequently adopted by the family which held the manor. William de Faldho held land in the neighbouring parish of Pulloxhill in the 13th century; and in 1324 the estate was restored to the heir of William, son of William de Keynes of Faldo, who had forfeited his lands to the crown for his part in the Earl of Lancaster's unsuccessful rebellion. In 1495 the moated site formed part of the estate of Dunstable Priory Farm at Higham. The farm was recorded lying within a detached part of the parish of Higham Gobion on an Enclosure Award map dated 1826. Manorial rights were still attached to the moated site in 1762 when the estate was owned by George Byng, the grandson of Lord Torrington. The upstanding structures on the island, the gravel surfaces of the driveway and yard, the surface of the path to the north of the main house, and the footbridge crossing the south eastern arm of the moat are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath all these features is included as it is thought to retain evidence of earlier buildings and features.

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: 24410

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Page, W, The Victoria History of the County of Bedfordshire, (1908), 346
Page, W, The Victoria History of the County of Bedfordshire, (1908), 379
'List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest' in District of Mid Bedfordshire: Barton le Clay, (1987)
'Bedfordshire Magazine' in Faldo Farm Moat, , Vol. 10, (1967), 19
Howlitson, M, 'Survey of Moated Sites in Bedfordshire' in Faldo Farm Moat, (1980)
Enclosure Award, CRO MA 56/1/1, (1826)

End of official listing