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Gannocks Castle moated site

List Entry Summary

This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

Name: Gannocks Castle moated site

List entry Number: 1013419


The monument may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.


District: Central Bedfordshire

District Type: Unitary Authority

Parish: Tempsford

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 13-Dec-1929

Date of most recent amendment: 08-Mar-1991

Legacy System Information

The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System: RSM

UID: 11533

Asset Groupings

This list entry does not comprise part of an Asset Grouping. Asset Groupings are not part of the official record but are added later for information.

List entry Description

Summary of Monument

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.

Gannocks Castle is a well-preserved example of a defensive moated enclosure with important earlier historical connections. The substantial inner earthworks indicate the defensive nature of the site and are evidence of its overall good surviving condition.


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


The monument includes the remains of the Medieval moated enclosure of Gannocks Castle. The moated site is rectangular in form measuring some 65m by 55m including the 10m wide surrounding moat. The moat is some 2.5m deep and water-filled along its northern arm. Entrance to the interior is provided by a slight causeway at the north-east corner. A substantial inner bank or rampart is visible around the edge of the island on all but the east side. A small mound measuring 7m across is located at the north-east corner of the island and may be the location of a defensive building or structure opposite the entrance. A low bank is evident along the outer eastern edge of the moat although its central section is only barely visible. The site is believed to be built on the same spot as an earlier Danish Fortress referred to in the Anglo-Saxon chronicle as being constructed in 921 AD and captured later that year by Edward the Elder.

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.

Selected Sources

Books and journals
The Victoria History of the County, (1908)
Cambridge AP index (RT 82-4 TL 160 529),
SMR Record sheet,

National Grid Reference: TL 16045 52935


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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 - 1013419 .pdf

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This copy shows the entry on 26-Sep-2018 at 04:00:20.

End of official listing