Penne's Place moated site, Aldenham


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1013001

Date first listed: 05-Feb-1991


Ordnance survey map of Penne's Place moated site, Aldenham
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Hertfordshire

District: Hertsmere (District Authority)

Parish: Aldenham

National Grid Reference: TQ 16648 96868


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.

Penne's Place moat is a good example of a double moated site, and has well documented connections with the Penne family dating back to the 13th century. The moat displays a diversity of features including an external bank and associated pond. As illustrated by observations in 1962-4, despite later alterations the site retains significant archaeological potential.


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


The monument includes the remains of a Medieval moated site. The double island site consists of two rectangular enclosures. The eastern enclosure measures c.55m by 130m inclusive of the 12m wide surrounding water-filled moat. The enlarged south arm has been adapted to form a concrete-lined bathing pool in the last century. Three weirs within this moat are also later ornamental features. Within its interior is a rectangular pond measuring 55m by 8m. The remaining area is flat apart from a modern wall and pit (excluded from the scheduling). A 0.7m high external bank flanks the eastern arm of the moat. The second enclosure, immediately to the west originally measured c.60m by 105m. Only the north arm currently survives as an earthwork feature, crossed by a modern causeway. The remaining west and south arms have been infilled in the past. The flat interior is interpreted as the site of Penne's Place manor house. The surface make-up of the road crossing the area is excluded from the scheduling although ground beneath is included.

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: 11570

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
The Victoria History of the County of Hertfordshire: Volume II, (1908), 121
Lawrence, A, The Aldenham House Gardens, (1988), 38-9
Title: Aldenham House and Park Source Date: 1842 Author: Publisher: Surveyor: Reproduced by Lawrence ref [2]

End of official listing