Moated site at Sheepbridge Court


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1013336

Date first listed: 18-Jan-1977

Date of most recent amendment: 22-May-1990


Ordnance survey map of Moated site at Sheepbridge Court
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This copy shows the entry on 23-Jan-2019 at 17:54:21.


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

District: Wokingham (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Swallowfield

National Grid Reference: SU 72134 65430


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 moated sites are known in England, relatively few survive in Berkshire. This example is particularly important as it survives well and displays a wide range of features including what might be an associated building. It also survives as a good example of a moated site which used diverted river water to form a strong defensive site.


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


The monument includes a circular moated site and associated earthworks surrounding Sheepbridge Court. The moat, which is seasonally water-filled, has an external diameter of 90m. Two causeways exist on the western side, while the river Loddon forms the eastern portion of the moat. The moat varies in width from 10m to 20m and survives to a depth of between 3 and 4m. The island has dimensions of 60m north- south and 50m east- west and has produced evidence for occupation in the form of 13th century pottery recovered from the grounds of the house. Outside the moat, on a separate island to the east, are what are considered to be two silted up stew ponds or the remains of a fishpond. To the south is a large external bank surviving to a height of 3m, considered to represent a spoil heap resulting from the original excavation of the moat. Excluded from the scheduling are the buildings of Sheepbridge Court, its outbuildings and swimming pool.

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: 12020

Legacy System: RSM

End of official listing