Turnpike Farm moated enclosure and associated cultivation earthworks.


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1012069

Date first listed: 12-Apr-1991


Ordnance survey map of Turnpike Farm moated enclosure and associated cultivation earthworks.
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: Bedford (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Bolnhurst and Keysoe

National Grid Reference: TL 08804 59896

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. The moated sites at Turnpike Farm form an unusually well-preserved complex of domestic building platforms and cultivation earthworks. They provide a good example of an integrated layout and design associated with a rural site of this kind.


The monument includes the earthwork and below ground remains of a series of medieval moated sites with adjacent cultivation earthworks to the east. The moats form at least 4 contiguous enclosures or islands which together measure some 175m. by 70m.. The original extent may have been slightly larger as the earthworks have been cut beyond the field boundary to the north and by farm buildings to the south. The ditches are partially water filled and measure up to 10m. wide. Some ditch sections have been widened to form ponds to the north and south of a central rectangular enclosure. Two phases of platforms can be seen with the central enclosure partially overlain by the moat to the south-west. The central and northern enclosures are subdivided into 4 smaller platforms, the size and form of which are consistent with interpretation as occupation platforms for medieval dwellings. East of the enclosures are the remains of contemporary cultivation earthworks which form a series of linear ridge and furrows surviving up to 1m. high. The furlongs are located at right angles to the moats respecting the eastern boundary of the enclosures. This suggests the earthworks are contemporary with or later than the moats. Together they form an associated medieval complex.

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: 11527

Legacy System: RSM


Beds CC survey, Earthworks at Turnpike Farm, Bolnhurst, (1977)
County Records Office, Various (County Records Office),
CRO, CRO BS 905, (1777)
Title: CRO PDR 19 Source Date: 1845 Author: Publisher: Surveyor:

End of official listing