Moated site in Castle Close


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1012363

Date first listed: 20-Mar-1962

Date of most recent amendment: 18-Feb-1992


Ordnance survey map of Moated site in Castle Close
© Crown Copyright and database right 2019. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2019. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
Use of this data is subject to Terms and Conditions.

The above map is for quick reference purposes only and may not be to scale. For a copy of the full scale map, please see the attached PDF - 1012363 .pdf

The PDF will be generated from our live systems and may take a few minutes to download depending on how busy our servers are. We apologise for this delay.

This copy shows the entry on 19-Feb-2019 at 04:19:04.


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

District: Bedford (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Sharnbrook

National Grid Reference: SP 98926 59550

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.

The earthwork at Castle Close is a well-preserved example of a small, later medieval moated site. The history of the site is well documented and it is believed to form part of an important defensive network of sites in Bedfordshire, extending from Thurleigh to Odell.


The monument at Castle Close is a slightly oval moat, about 60m across. The moat ditch is about 7m wide by up to 3m deep. The central island is surrounded by a bank 1.5m high. A small area of flat ground in the middle of the island measures roughly 25m by 20m. There are no causeways across the moat. The eastern side of the moat holds standing water and is fed by a leat or stream, 4m wide and 0.5m deep, which runs for some 100m to the east where it joins other field drains. A survey dated 1617 refers to the land in which the monument lies as 'Castle Close' and, although the monument has been described as a type of Norman castle, the defensive appearance of the earthworks is considered to represent a later fortification of the moat. The moat at Sharnbrook is one of a number of medieval sites located on the northern slopes of the Ouse valley, such as the moats at Bletsoe and Thurleigh and castles at Thurleigh and Odell.

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: 20404

Legacy System: RSM


Beds. CRO note: Sharnbrook Castle and Lodge Road,
Wynn, D.R, Ministry of Works letter, (1962)

End of official listing