St Aylott's moated site and fishpond


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1011472

Date first listed: 21-Sep-1993


Ordnance survey map of St Aylott's moated site and fishpond
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The above map is for quick reference purposes only and may not be to scale. For a copy of the full scale map, please see the attached PDF - 1011472 .pdf

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This copy shows the entry on 19-Nov-2018 at 17:52:58.


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

County: Essex

District: Uttlesford (District Authority)

Parish: Sewards End

National Grid Reference: TL 56911 39867, TL 56965 39912


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.

St Aylott's moated site survives well and will retain archaeological information pertaining to its occupation. Its relationship with Walden Abbey and St Aylott are of particular interest. The waterfilled ditches will also retain environmental evidence relating to the economy of its inhabitants and the landscape in which they lived.


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


The monument known as St Aylott's includes a quadrangular shaped moated site and fishpond situated on high ground 2km south-west of Ashdon church. It includes two areas. The moated site measures 62m NE-SW by 65m NW-SE. The arms are waterfilled and measure between 5m and 13m in width. A causeway, 5m wide, gives access to the island across the western arm. Another causeway, which has been widened in recent years from 3m to approximately 7m, gives access across the eastern arm. The extension of the moat at the south-western corner has been filled in recent years but is preserved as a buried feature and is included in the scheduling. The island is occupied by a house, which was built in c.1500 and is Listed Grade I, and a contemporary dovecote (Listed Grade II) along with other, more modern, farm buildings. 35m west of the moat is a sub-rectangular fishpond which is waterfilled and measures 20m NW-SE by a maximum of 10m NE-SW. The pond marked on the map north-east of the moat has been filled-in with building and farm debris and is not considered well enough preserved to be included in the scheduling. The site was once the property of Walden Abbey and formed part of the manor of St Aylott's. The name is derived from St Aylott who is said to have been martyred here. A chapel dedicated to him existed here in the 15th century. The house, dovecote, outbuildings and driveway are all excluded from the scheduling though the ground beneath them 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: 20725

Legacy System: RSM


SMR NO: 145, Information from SMR,

End of official listing