Batch Wood, moated manorial site


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1012407

Date first listed: 10-Jun-1992


Ordnance survey map of Batch Wood, moated manorial site
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This copy shows the entry on 19-Nov-2018 at 17:43:44.


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

County: Hertfordshire

District: St. Albans (District Authority)

Parish: St. Michael

National Grid Reference: TL 14012 09254


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.

The site at Batch Wood is an example of a moated site with an unusually large and complex attached enclosure. The site is essentially undisturbed and retains considerable potential for the survival of below ground structural remains both on the moat island and in the enclosure.


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


The moated manorial site at Batch Wood is situated west of St Albans and 500m north-east of Batchwood Hall. It comprises a square shaped moat measuring c.87m east-west by c.85m north-south surrounded by an outer enclosure covering an area of approximately 5.5 hectares. The moat arms are dry and measure c.7m to c.10m in width and c.1m in depth. The entrance causeway, which is approximately 12m wide, is situated on the southern side of the moat. A well has been identified in the north-western corner of the island. The outer enclosure ditch arms measure a maximum of c.1.5m in depth and are between 2m and 5m in width. The southern arm, however, is wider, measuring c.10m, and contains the entrance to the enclosure. There are traces of shallow ditches running both east-west and north-south sub-dividing the enclosure. Earthworks which are considered to represent the remains of buildings are located inside the entrance to the outer enclosure. A trackway, measuring between 20m and 10m in width, is visible running to the south and west of the enclosure. Three additional enclosures can be seen to the south-east, south and west, separated from the main enclosure by the trackway. The moat is identified as the site of the manor of Childwicksay or Bachesworth.

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: 20620

Legacy System: RSM


Verulamium Museum Survey, (1983)

End of official listing