Moated site at Nye Farm


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


Ordnance survey map of Moated site at Nye Farm
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

North Somerset (Unitary Authority)
Winscombe and Sandford
National Grid Reference:
ST 41376 61536

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 Nye Farm survives comparatively well. This class of monument is unusual in this part of the county; a pair of such sites particularly so. Despite some disturbance and infilling, the moated site will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to the monument and the landscape in which it was constructed. This will include waterlogged deposits in view of the site`s setting in a low-lying area of the Somerset Levels.


The monument includes a sub-rectangular moated site situated at Nye Farm in the area of the Somerset Levels. The moated site comprises a slightly raised, grass-covered island, 32m from east to west and 25m from north to south, surrounded by a partly waterfilled moat c.10m wide. The western arm of the moat has been incorporated into a field drain. The eastern and southern arms of the moat have been partly refilled in modern times but survive as buried features and remain visible as earthworks c.10m wide and 0.6m deep. The northern arm of the moat survives largely in its original form and is waterfilled. Access to the interior would originally have been by bridge or drawbridge. The monument has, over the years, produced quantities of medieval pottery and is recorded in documents as a homestead moat in 1290 and 1332. It is one of a pair of moated sites known in the area; the neighbouring site is situated 380m to the west. Excluded from the scheduling are the farm shed situated on the island, the circular cattle feedrack in the north-eastern area of the island and the boundary fence posts which cross the north-eastern area of the monument but the ground beneath all these features is included.

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:
Legacy System:


Mention of historic references,
Mention of medieval pottery at moat,


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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