Barton Seagrave moats, fishponds and shrunken medieval village remains


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1013320

Date first listed: 03-Apr-1951

Date of most recent amendment: 10-Jun-1992


Ordnance survey map of Barton Seagrave moats, fishponds and shrunken medieval village remains
© Crown Copyright and database right 2019. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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This copy shows the entry on 17-Jan-2019 at 17:38:45.


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

County: Northamptonshire

District: Kettering (District Authority)

Parish: Barton Seagrave

National Grid Reference: SP 88607 77088


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

Reasons for Designation

The village, comprising a small group of houses, gardens, yards, streets, paddocks, often with a green, a manor and a church, and with a community devoted primarily to agriculture, was a significant component of the rural landscape in most areas of medieval England, much as it is today. Villages provided some services to the local community and acted as the main focal point of ecclesiastical, and often of manorial, administration within each parish. Although the sites of many of these villages have been occupied continuously down to the present day, many others declined in size or were abandoned throughout the medieval and post-medieval periods, particularly during the 14th and 15th centuries. As a result over 2000 deserted medieval villages are recorded nationally. The reasons for desertion were varied but often reflected declining economic viability, changes in land use such as enclosure or emparkment, or population fluctuations as a result of widespread epidemics such as the Black Death. As a consequence of their abandonment these villages are frequently undisturbed by later occupation and contain well-preserved archaeological deposits. Because they are a common and long-lived monument type in most parts of England, they provide important information on the diversity of medieval settlement patterns and farming economy between the regions and through time.

Barton Seagrave moats and fishponds form a part of a wider settlement which was deserted as the village either shrank or shifted its focus further eastwards. Although part of the settlement has continued in use to the modern day, with consequent disturbance of the earlier remains, earthworks of the earlier settlement include the various house plots and significantly, two moats and a fishpond. One of the moats is the location of a prestigious residence whilst the other appears to have had a more ornamental function. The moats, fishpond and village remains at Barton Seagrave are well-preserved and together provide evidence of the changing patterns of medieval farming settlements in the Northamptonshire countryside.


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


The monument lies to the south of Kettering and on the west side of Barton Seagrave. The site includes two moated enclosures linked by a water channel and associated fishponds and water channels. To the north east of one of the moats lies part of the remains of the shrunken medieval village of Barton Seagrave. The southernmost moat is rectangular, measuring approximately 115m x 68m, and is surrounded by a ditch up to 2m deep and 20m wide. A causeway lies across the east ditch of the moat and exposed stonework is visible on the rectangular moat island. There is an outer bank 1m high on the north and west sides of the moat ditches and just to the west of the moat lies a rectangular fishpond fed by a spring. A water channel 0.5m deep, 1m wide and 100m long connects the south moat to the north moat. The north moat covers an area about 60m square and is surrounded by a ditch up to 8m wide and 2m deep; there is no evidence of an entrance causeway. Outer banks are evident on the north and west sides of the moat. Two deep rectangular depressions on the moat island are considered to be fishponds and suggest that this moat was an ornamental feature. In the centre of the monument, between the two moated sites, a water channel runs from east to west towards a large fishpond, still waterlogged, which lies in the west of the site. A further water channel runs towards the east from the centre of the site, and to the east are the earthwork remains of further channels which formed part of the water management system. To the north east of the northern moat lies part of the earthwork remains of the shrunken medieval village of Barton Seagrave. Two rectangular paddocks bounded by ditches now remain and in the south of the area stands a house platform. During road widening in the mid 1960s, a considerable amount of medieval pottery and masonry was uncovered just to the north of this area. All made up pathways and outbuildings are excluded from the scheduling, but the ground beneath these features is included.

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: 13630

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Royal Commission on Historical Monuments, , An Inventory of Archaeological sites in central Northamptonshire, (1979)

End of official listing