Pirton Grange moated enclosure and associated settling pond, Pirton


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:


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

Central Bedfordshire (Unitary Authority)
North Hertfordshire (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:
TL 12258 32933

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.

Pirton Grange moated site exhibits a diversity of features, including the hall itself, the bridge and gatehouse, and remains associated with water control. The significance of the site is increased by its association with a cluster of four such moated sites at Apsley End.


The monument includes the remains of a medieval moated enclosure and an associated settling pond. The moated enclosure is rectangular in shape measuring c.75m east-west by 55m north-south, inclusive of the c.8m-14m wide surrounding water-filled moat. The inner edge of the moat is revetted by wooden timbers. The moat is fed by an inflow channel or leat at the south-west corner controlled by a sluice. The moat drains into a settling pond to the north-east via an overflow channel (also included in the scheduling). The main entrance to the moated island is on the east side and comprises a bridge and gatehouse located on the site of an earlier bridge structure observed in the last century. The upstanding remains of the bridge and gatehouse (listed grade II*) and Pirton Grange and its associated outhouses (listed grade II* and grade II, respectively) are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath the buildings is included. A small modern footbridge crossing the south arm of the moat is similarly excluded. The mound and ponds immediately to the south of the moat are believed to date to the 19th century and are not included in the scheduling.

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:


Books and journals
Sanderson, L M, The Victoria History of the County of Hertfordshire: Volume III, (1912), 44-53
Ref to inventory not seen, Davies, V F Miss, (1990)
SMR record, SMR Record (1986), (1986)


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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