Biggin Wood moated enclosure, Tempsford


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1012451

Date first listed: 05-Apr-1955

Date of most recent amendment: 16-Jan-1991


Ordnance survey map of Biggin Wood moated enclosure, Tempsford
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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This copy shows the entry on 16-Dec-2018 at 17:39:22.


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

District: Central Bedfordshire (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Tempsford

National Grid Reference: TL 18097 52789


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.

Biggin Wood is an above average example of a Bedfordshire moated enclosure, and thought to include the remains of the important residence of Everton Biggin manor.


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


The monument includes the well-defined remains of a Medieval moated enclosure and the levelled remains of an outer enclosure. The moated enclosure is square in form measuring some 67m across inclusive of the 8m wide surrounding moat. The partially water-filled ditches form a complete circuit apart from a recently infilled section at the north-east corner. There is no visible evidence for the original entrance causeway known to have been on the western side. The interior of the moated island is flat. The moated enclosure is contained within a larger rectangular enclosure, the boundary ditch of which has been levelled, although its below ground remains survive. The site is believed to be the location of the manor of Biggin or Everton Biggin.

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: 11544

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Simkins, M E, The Victoria History of the County of Huntingdon: Volume III, (1932)
Wadmore, B, 'Earthworks of Bedfordshire' in Biggin Wood, Tempsford, (1920)
B H S, (1971)

End of official listing