Moor End Castle moated site and fish pond


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1010806

Date first listed: 09-Oct-1981

Date of most recent amendment: 24-Sep-1992


Ordnance survey map of Moor End Castle moated site and fish pond
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This copy shows the entry on 10-Dec-2018 at 03:55:38.


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

County: Northamptonshire

District: South Northamptonshire (District Authority)

Parish: Yardley Gobion

National Grid Reference: SP 75427 44633


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.

Moor End moat is a site with important royal connections, being owned by the royal family in both the 14th and 15th centuries, and occupied by Edward III during part of his reign. The moat ditches are well preserved and completely waterlogged thus presenting considerable potential for the preservation of environmental evidence.


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


The monument consists of a rectangular moated site and an associated fishpond both of which lie to the north of Moor End manor. The moat fully encloses the island, with a southern ditch about 40m wide and ditches on the other three sides about 15 to 20m in width. The moat ditches are completely waterfilled and are fed by a stream which runs from north to south of the east arm. The stream was also originally connected to the fish pond which lies to the north of the moat and which is still waterfilled. A causeway, now submerged, runs from the centre of the west arm of the moat to the island and indicates the original entrance to the moat island. In the west ditch of the moat a covered drain running southwards functioned as an overflow from the nearby fishpond. Remains of a dam and sluice situated at the southern end of the east arm of the moat assisted the maintenance of water levels within the moated system. The moat island is 50m square and is planted with conifers. This monument is known to have been the site of Moor End Castle, which belonged to Edward III. Between 1363 and 1369 the king spent almost a thousand pounds on the repair and improvement of the castle and he lived there for part of his reign. Also, in the 15th century, the castle was held by various members of the royal family.

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: 13614

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
High King's Works742-5

End of official listing