Kempston Hardwick moated site


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1012312

Date first listed: 17-Oct-1990


Ordnance survey map of Kempston Hardwick moated site
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This copy shows the entry on 14-Dec-2018 at 19:03:11.


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

District: Bedford (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Stewartby

National Grid Reference: TL 03045 44560


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.

Kempston Hardwick is a fine example of a Bedfordshire moated site, the interior of which is substantially undisturbed and the waterlogged moat of which provides conditions suitable for the survival of organic remains.


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


The monument includes the remains of a Medieval moated enclosure. The enclosure is rectangular in shape measuring some 80m by 70m inclusive of the 9m wide waterlogged surrounding moat. On the southern side of the moated site the remains of a stone faced "rustic" entrance causeway can be seen. The causeway is considered to be a later Post-Medieval landscaped feature constructed on the site of an earlier entrance causeway. The interior of the moated island is flat with no upstanding remains of buildings or features apart from the concrete shell of a Second World War air raid shelter (excluded from the scheduling although the ground beneath the shelter is included) and the remains of a modern fence line.

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: 11553

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Wood, J, Kempston Rural Parish Survey, (1982)
SMR Records, (1987)
Wilcox, M., SMR Record, (1976)

End of official listing