Moated site, Little Cokenach


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1011871

Date first listed: 30-Jan-1992


Ordnance survey map of Moated site, Little Cokenach
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Hertfordshire

District: North Hertfordshire (District Authority)

Parish: Nuthampstead

National Grid Reference: TL 41101 34854


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.

The moated site at Little Cokenach is a good surviving example of its kind, well-documented and with important Norman French ecclesiastical connections.


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


The moated site at Little Cokenach is roughly triangular in shape, and occupies an isolated position 800m east of the village of Nuthampstead. The maximum dimensions of the site are 70 x 60m. The ditches have an average depth of 1.5m, and a width varying from 8m on the eastern side to 5m on the south. There is an outer bank on the south western side. Although dry today, the moat is known to have been water filled in the recent past. There is a slightly raised area, approximately 30 x 18m, near the centre of the island, which is identified as the site of the manor house. The original access point across the ditch, represented by a slight causeway, is on the eastern side of the island. Most moated sites were constructed between 1250 and 1350 and it is to this period that the example at Little Cokenach is likely to date. Historical records show that the moat belonged to an estate given to the Abbey of Montreuil-sur-mer in 1190.

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: 17003

Legacy System: RSM

End of official listing