Moated site and fishpond at Botany Bay Copse


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1013351

Date first listed: 24-Mar-1977

Date of most recent amendment: 27-Mar-1990


Ordnance survey map of Moated site and fishpond at Botany Bay Copse
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2018. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
Use of this data is subject to Terms and Conditions.

The above map is for quick reference purposes only and may not be to scale. For a copy of the full scale map, please see the attached PDF - 1013351 .pdf

The PDF will be generated from our live systems and may take a few minutes to download depending on how busy our servers are. We apologise for this delay.

This copy shows the entry on 19-Nov-2018 at 10:12:44.


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

District: Wokingham (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Ruscombe

National Grid Reference: SU 80651 75391


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, relatively few survive in Berkshire. This example is of particular importance as it survives well and includes an associated fishpond. The latter may have acted as a reservoir for the moat thus making it an important example of an early water-management complex.


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


The monument includes a small quadrilateral moated site and an associated sub- rectangular fishpond within, and at the westernmost end of, Botany Bay Copse. Although the moat is seasonally water-filled, the pond contains water all year round. The moat has straight regular arms around 2m in depth and bordered by an outer bank which still survives to a depth of 0.3m. The moat has overall dimensions of 60m NNE-SSW and 57m NW-SE while the moat island is 35m square. The pond is 40m in length and runs WNW from the south-west corner of the moat with which it is considered to be contemporary. It may have acted as a reservoir for the moat.

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: 12024

Legacy System: RSM


West Cambridgeshire, Royal Commission on Historical Monuments, An Inventory of Historical Monuments in Cambridgeshire, (1968)

End of official listing