Marlin Chapel Farm moated site


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1009583

Date first listed: 10-Jun-1992


Ordnance survey map of Marlin Chapel Farm moated site
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This copy shows the entry on 20-Jan-2019 at 23:55:57.


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

County: Hertfordshire

District: Dacorum (District Authority)

Parish: Northchurch

National Grid Reference: SP 96419 07103


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 monument at Marlin Chapel Farm is a well-preserved example of a double moated site. The waterlogged fishpond and ditch will provide ideal conditions for the survival of organic remains. The interior, which is largely undisturbed by modern development, will retain evidence for the organisation of the medieval farmstead.


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


The double island moated site of Marlin Chapel Farm is situated about 1.25km west of Berkhamsted, close to the Buckinghamshire border. The monument consists of a large moated enclosure, in the north-west quadrant of which is a smaller moated enclosure, with an associated fishpond. The smaller enclosure is nearly square in shape and is orientated north-east, south-west and measures c.95m long by c.85m wide. The moat arms are between 12.5m and 2m wide and vary between c.1m and c.2m deep. Only the north-west corner of the moat remains waterfilled. There are causeways on the northern, western and southern arms although only the northern example is believed to be original. The outer moated enclosure is now identified by a hedgerow with an inner ditch and is attached to the south-east side of the smaller enclosure. It measures c.145m by c.100m. A pond located to the south-west of the inner enclosure, and still waterfilled, is considered to have been a fishpond. There are few documentary sources for the site but the farm appears to have been named after the nearby ruined chapel of St Mary Magdalene. With the exception of the farmhouse, all the structures within the monument are Grade II Listed buildings and are excluded from the scheduling. The northernmost barns have been converted into three dwellings whilst the barn to the south-east of the monument remains in use as a garage and workshop. Excluded from the scheduling are the driveways, the houses, the farmhouse, the garage and the silage tank. The ground beneath all these features is, however, included.

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: 20621

Legacy System: RSM

End of official listing