Whomerley Wood moated site


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


Ordnance survey map of Whomerley Wood moated site
© Crown Copyright and database right 2019. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2019. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
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This copy shows the entry on 23-May-2019 at 12:47:17.


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

Stevenage (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:
TL 24678 23673

Reasons for Designation

Around 6000 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 or, in some cases, which were used for horticulture. 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. Whomerley Wood moat is a very fine example of a double island site, surviving in excellent condition. The ditches are partially water- logged. The site is considered to have great potential for the preservation of archaeological and environmental deposits, both within the ditches and on the island. Small-scale excavations and a survey have confirmed the interpretation of the site, whilst historical records have identified the moat as the home of the de Homilies.


The monument includes the well-preserved remains of a medieval moat and its associated outworks. The moat measures some 73m. across and is roughly square in form. The surrounding ditch measures between 5 and 10m. across and is some 1.5m. deep. The ditch still retains water on the north and west sides. An entrance causeway crosses the ditch at the north-west corner. An inner and outer bank are visible on either side of the ditch which are truncated in places, perhaps due to the limited excavations of 1924 and 1953. The interior is very uneven and may once have contained various structural features. There is a water filled pond just inside the entrance. The narrow entrance causeway leads to a second moated enclosure to the north-west which is also surrounded by a 5m. wide ditch and which may have been constructed to strengthen the defences around the entrance.

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:


23/1/1926, Murry, M, (1926)
Bosowitz and Roberts, (1954)


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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