St John's Pelham moated site and fishponds.


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


Ordnance survey map of St John's Pelham moated site and fishponds.
© Crown Copyright and database right 2019. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

East Hertfordshire (District Authority)
Furneux Pelham
National Grid Reference:
TL 42472 29094

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 St John's Pelham is relatively well-preserved and retains considerable archaeological potential for the recovery of building foundations within the interior. The fishponds survive in good condition.


The moated site at St John's Pelham is situated 1.25km north-east of Furneux Pelham. It is rectangular in shape and measures c.75m north-south by c.70m east-west. The arms vary between 20m and 10m in width, the widest point being the north-west corner where the moat is fed by a spring. The north and east arms are still waterfilled but the west arm is dry. There is no surface trace of a fourth arm. An external bank, 7 - 10m wide and c.0.6m high, exists on the north and west sides. The island is raised slightly above the natural land surface in order to create a flat platform. There are visible footings of a small brick-built building on the island and the ruins of a barn to the south of the moat are believed to cover the southern arm. To the east of the moat is a pond which measures c.20m east-west by c.15m north-south. It is filled through a channel from the north-east corner of the moat and drains to a leat running east from the moated site. Another pond, situated c.45m north of the moat, measures c.10m east-west and c.15m north-south and is connected to the moat by a small channel.

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:
Legacy System:


SMR No: 070250, Information from SMR,


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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