Moated site and two fishponds, Moathouse Cottage


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1013170

Date first listed: 18-Jan-1977

Date of most recent amendment: 06-Dec-1991


Ordnance survey map of Moated site and two fishponds, Moathouse Cottage
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: West Berkshire (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Sulhamstead

National Grid Reference: SU 64168 67858


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 seigniorial 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.

Although a large number of moated sites are known, relatively few survive in Berkshire. This site is of particular importance as it survives well as a small moated site as well as being an excellent example of a water-management complex comprising both ponds and moat. The site has high potential for the recovery of archaeological remains.


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


The monument comprises a complex including a small rectangular moated site and a pair of fishponds at and north-west of Moathouse Cottage. The moat is situated south of and abutting the two adjoining fishponds. The complex is arranged in linear form. The fishponds have external dimensions of 32m square while the moat measures 50m NW-SE and 33m NE-SW. The island has dimensions of 30m by 15m. The moat averages 10m wide and survives to a depth of up to 1m. The moat and fishponds are dry, the earthworks of the former being partly levelled while those of the ponds still stand to around 1m high. The modern house and areas of concrete to its north-east and south-east are excluded from the scheduling.

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: 12027

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Ditchfield, , Page (eds), , The Victoria History of the County of Berkshire: Volume I, (1906), 271
Dennison, E and Darvill, T, HBMC Monument Class Description - Moats, 1988,

End of official listing