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Biggin Wood moated enclosure, Tempsford

List Entry Summary

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 Culture, Media and Sport.

Name: Biggin Wood moated enclosure, Tempsford

List entry Number: 1012451


The monument may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.


District: Central Bedfordshire

District Type: Unitary Authority

Parish: Tempsford

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 05-Apr-1955

Date of most recent amendment: 16-Jan-1991

Legacy System Information

The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System: RSM

UID: 11544

Asset Groupings

This list entry does not comprise part of an Asset Grouping. Asset Groupings are not part of the official record but are added later for information.

List entry Description

Summary of Monument

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.

Selected Sources

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)

National Grid Reference: TL 18097 52789


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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 - 1012451 .pdf

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This copy shows the entry on 16-Aug-2018 at 06:56:55.

End of official listing