Mobbs Hole moated site and decoy pond, Ashwell


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1012306

Date first listed: 17-Oct-1990


Ordnance survey map of Mobbs Hole moated site and decoy pond, Ashwell
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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: Ashwell

National Grid Reference: TL 26356 43776


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.

Mobbs Hole is a good example of a double island moated site with an unusual association with a decoy pond.


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


The monument includes the well-defined remains of a double island moated site and adjacent decoy pond. The moated site comprises a small enclosure, measuring some 55m by 40m, located within the western corner of a larger enclosure, measuring 90m by 65m in external dimensions (inclusive of both 7m wide surrounding waterfilled moats). The interiors of the moated islands are flat apart from the remains of modern upcast banks from recent dredging. A linear decoy pond is attached to the south corner of the moated site. The pond measures some 100m in length and varies between 10m and 6m in width tapering off towards its south-eastern end. The pond is thought to have been constructed for trapping waterfowl but may also have functioned as an outflow channel from the moats.

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: 11557

Legacy System: RSM


Murfitt, C M Mr, Information on Artifacts, (1989)
NAR Records,
NAR Records, (1972)

End of official listing