Moated Manorial Site at Beaumy's Castle, 200m north-east of Priory Farm


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1013179

Date first listed: 02-May-1975

Date of most recent amendment: 27-Mar-1990


Ordnance survey map of Moated Manorial Site at Beaumy's Castle, 200m north-east of Priory Farm
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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: Beech Hill

District: Wokingham (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Swallowfield

National Grid Reference: SU 70992 64629


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.

Although a large number of moats are known, relatively few survive in Berkshire. This example is particularly important as it survives well and has high potential for the survival of archaeological remains. In addition the site has well documented historical sources which demonstrate its importance during the medieval period.

The site of the scheduled monument is indicated on the attached Scheduled Monument map extract outlined in black and highlighted in red and includes a 15m boundary on the south east side of the site considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.


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


The monument includes a partly dry rectangular moated Manorial site at Beaumy's Castle, 200m north-east of Priory Farm. It is of rectilinear shape and is aligned NW-SE with maximum external dimensions of 130m and 110m respectively. The single causeway faces north-west. The moat survives to a depth of between 3 and 4m and is part filled with water. It encloses an area c.80m by 60m and survives to a width of between 10m on the NE arm to 20m on the SE arm. An external bank 75m in length, 9m wide and up to 0.5m high survives outside the SW arm of the moat. The interior is tree-covered and although it shows no sign of masonry, red unglazed sherds have been recovered from the centre of the enclosure. The manor of Beaumy's was held by the Dispenser family from the first half of the 13th century. Nicholas de la Beche was granted a licence to crenellate the house in 1339 and the manor was eventually dismantled in 1420.

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: 12018

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
The Victoria History of the County of Berkshire: Volume III, (1923)
Dennison, E and Darvill, T, HBMC Monument Class Description - Moats, 1988,

End of official listing