Moated site at Ivy Hall
Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number: 1009592
Date first listed: 03-Jul-1992
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
District: Central Bedfordshire (Unitary Authority)
National Grid Reference: SP 95848 45065
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.
Although partially infilled, the moat at Ivy Hall still contains waterlogged silts from which environmental evidence may be recovered, enabling reconstruction of the economy of the site. The remains of buildings are known to survive on the island. The close proximity of Ivy Hall to two other moated sites in the area provides the opportunity for chronological and social variations between sites to be studied, thus giving an indication of rural land management in the medieval period.
The monument includes a four-sided moated site, situated on the upper
west-facing slope of the valley of a small stream. Although partially
infilled, more than half the circuit of the moat is intact and the remainder
can be discerned as low earthworks in a ploughed field. The western arm of
the moat is 70m long by 12m wide and 2m deep. This arm protrudes by 5m or so
beyond the south-west corner and a stream drains from it to the west. The
bottom of the moat is damp and has recently been waterfilled. The northern
arm is 100m long by 5m wide and 2m deep. A small pond, measuring 8m east-west
by 5m north-south, lies outside this arm and is linked to the moat by a short
leat 5m wide and 2m long. There is a causeway 60m from the western end while
the eastern end is infilled and it extends for some 25m into a ploughed field
where it can be observed as a linear hollow about 0.3m deep. The eastern arm
of the moat is similarly defined This runs south for about 25m where it
joins a large oval depression measuring approximately 25m east-west by 15m
north-south. This depression is about 0.5m deep and is the remains of an
infilled pond which lay in the south-east corner of the moat. Only the
western end of the southern arm can be identified and this portion is 35m long
by 10m wide and 1.5m deep. This arm was originally 85m long and joined the
pond at the south-east corner. Contained within the moat is an island which
has maximum dimensions of 80m by 50m and is flat and not appreciably raised.
The remains of brick and timber buildings are scattered in the north-western
part of the site and are dumped in the northern arm of the ditch.
The full extent of the moat is depicted on early editions of the Ordnance
Survey and the 1840 Enclosure Award map. The moat was formerly the site of a
medieval manor house. A house, Ivy Hall, stood on the moat until the early
1960's and its outbuildings were still standing in 1979. The monument lies
within 500m of two other moated sites.
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: 20438
Legacy System: RSM
Coleman, SR, Beds. 43, (1979)
P.A.S., Ordnance Survey Record, (1973)
Title: Beds CRO: MA77, Enclosure Award Map Source Date: 1840 Author: Publisher: Surveyor:
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