Moated site with associated earthworks, 770m south of St Mary's Church, south of the junction of Childs Way and Fulmer Street


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Date of most recent amendment:


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

Milton Keynes (Unitary Authority)
Shenley Brook End
National Grid Reference:
SP 83474 35986

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 and associated earthworks 770m south of St Mary's Church are well-preserved and will contain valuable archaeological information. The silts within the ditch, especially those waterlogged or buried within the infilled sections, will retain environmental evidence for the appearance of the landscape in which the moated site was set and for the development of associated agricultural activity. Evidence regarding earlier structures is expected to survive in the form of buried features on the island, and artefacts preserved in association with these features, as well as in the silts of the surrounding ditch, will provide valuable insights into the duration of the settlement and the lifestyles of its inhabitants. The moated site, as with other scheduled and unscheduled monuments in Milton Keynes, makes a major contribution to the historic environment. It serves as a visible reminder of an earlier form of settlement in the midst of the new town, and provides a physical link with the records of medieval activity resulting from archaeological excavations in the vicinity prior to development.


The monument includes the visible and buried remains of a medieval moated site situated at the top of a gentle south east-facing slope towards the northern end of the former hamlet of Shenley Brook End - east of the road which once linked this settlement with the related hamlet of Shenley Church End.

The moated site remains visible as a `D'-shaped island, bounded on the north side by a substantial ditch some 46m long by 5m wide and averaging 1.8m deep. This feature is seasonally water-filled and the base generally remains waterlogged throughout the year. The eastern and southern arms of the moat are largely infilled, although they are known from earlier records to measure approximately 8m wide. These sections are now represented by a shallow, outward-facing scarp. The position of the western arm of the moat was noted in the 1960s, and now lies buried beneath the roadside verge beyond a modern hedgerow which, broadly speaking, marks the western edge of the island. A slightly raised oval mound, some 18m by 12m, lies adjacent to the hedgeline near the middle of the western side of the island. This is thought to represent the remains of a house platform.

All fences, fenceposts and gates and the metalled surfaces of the footpaths are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath these features is included.

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:


MPP scheduling proposal (failed), Barratt, G, Moated site 200m NE of Dovecote Farm, Shenley Brook End, (1991)
Schedule Entry AM7 (Bucks SAM 90), Saunders, A, Moated Site West of Shenley Lodge, (1967)
Wise, J, Discussion with Bucks C.C. SMR Officer, (1998)


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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