Titchmarsh Castle moated site and fishponds


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
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Ordnance survey map of Titchmarsh Castle moated site and fishponds
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

East Northamptonshire (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:
TL 02460 79480

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.

Titchmarsh Castle is a well documented site with a diversity of well defined features, including a moated site and a large fishpond. Records show that substantial stone buildings surrounded by a circular wall and towers were built on the site, and early excavations of a small part of the moat island confirmed the presence of such buildings. A large proportion of the moat island is undisturbed and therefore retains potential for the preservation of substantial archaeological remains of these buildings.


This monument lies on the south-eastern edge of Titchmarsh village. It is composed of the remains of the moated site of Titchmarsh Castle, a fishpond and the earthworks of the associated water management system. The moat island is almost completely surrounded by a substantial ditch 3m to 4m deep and up to 15m wide. There is an entrance causeway across the ditch in the north-west corner of the moat, and in the north-east corner the ditches have been partly infilled. The moat island is 70m square and in places remains of stonework can be seen just below the surface; when the area was excavated in 1887 remains of stone buildings were discovered. It is recorded that in 1304 John Lovell obtained a licence to crenellate a house on this site, and in 1346 the house was described as a moated site enclosed with a stone wall after the manner of a castle. It is known that the buildings were in a ruined condition by 1363. Just to the south-east of the moated area lies a large waterfilled fishpond connected to the moat by a water channel and earthworks surrounding the pond indicate that it was originally about 30m square. The water was held in the pond by a massive dam on the south and east sides which still stands up to 3.5m high. To the west of the moated site is a large rectangular mound and there are other small irregular mounds to the south west of the moat. These are likely to be spoil heaps from the original digging of the site and pond.

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.

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Books and journals
Royal Commission on Historical Monuments of England, , Archaeological Sites in North East Northamptonshire, (1979), 99-100


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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