Windmill Pool moated site and associated water control features


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1012151

Date first listed: 14-Jul-1995


Ordnance survey map of Windmill Pool moated site and associated water control features
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This copy shows the entry on 19-Dec-2018 at 15:20:36.


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

County: Northamptonshire

District: South Northamptonshire (District Authority)

Parish: Litchborough

National Grid Reference: SP 63644 53666


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.

Windmill Pool moated site and its associated water control features survive well and are unencumbered by modern development. Partial excavation has confirmed that the moated island retains valuable evidence for the building which originally existed here. The waterfilled moat arms and water control channels will retain evidence for the economy of the site's inhabitants and for the landscape in which they lived.


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


The monument known as Windmill Pool is situated 0.5km south east of the village of Litchborough and includes a moated site, parts of an associated water managment system and an area of ridge and furrow cultivation. The moated site has external dimensions of approximately 40m square. The moat arms measure up to 12m wide and are waterfilled. The western arm projects southwards beyond the southern arm for a distance of 6m and is also waterfilled. Two channels are visible at either end of the northern moat arm. It is unclear how far the channel at the western end of the northern arm of the moat originally extended northwards because the land to the north of the moated site is under cultivation and there is no surface evidence for the channel in this area. The moated island measures 20m north-south and 15m east-west. An excavation of part of the island in 1981 recovered fragments of medieval pottery. There is currently no means of access, or any surface evidence for the original access, onto the island. Immediately to the east of the moated site are the earthwork remains of ridge and furrow cultivation. The ridge and furrow, which is aligned north-south, respects the moated site and the relationship between these features illustrates the impact of the moated site on the land use of the surrounding area. The ridge and furrow extends eastwards from the moated site for a distance of approximately 60m and a 10m wide sample area of the ridge and furrow is included in the scheduling in order to preserve the relationship between these earthworks and the moated site. To the west of the moated site is a large waterfilled pond, roughly square in plan. A 14m long channel connects the pond with the north western corner of the western moat arm, while a further channel, approximately 5m wide, is visible running south westwards from the south western corner of the pond. It is unclear how far this channel originally continued in this direction since its southern end has been damaged by the road to the south of the site. There are two parallel channels to the west of the pond which connect with a smaller, irregularly-shaped pond situated further west, approximately 84m north west of the moated site. The original extent of this western pond is thought to have also been modified by the course of the road and it is not included in the scheduling, while a 15m length of each of the two channels which connect the western pond with the north western corner of the larger pond are included in order to preserve their relationships. An 1843 tithe map indicates that the moated site and its associated water control features were situated within a paddock known, at that time, as Windmill Pool, although the earthworks themselves are not shown on the map. The windmill, from which the site is thought to take its name, has not been located.

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: 21612

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Royal Commission on Historical Monuments of England, , The County of Northamptonshire96-7
Royal Commission on Historical Monuments of England, , The County of Northamptonshire97

End of official listing