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Manor Farm moated enclosure, fishponds and fowling earthworks

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 Culture, Media and Sport.

Name: Manor Farm moated enclosure, fishponds and fowling earthworks

List entry Number: 1013453


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


District: Bedford

District Type: Unitary Authority

Parish: Colmworth

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 11-Apr-1991

Date of most recent amendment: Not applicable to this List entry.

Legacy System Information

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

Legacy System: RSM

UID: 11528

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.

The moat exhibits a range of features, including not only the well- preserved moat and fishponds but also a rare association with distinctive fowling earthworks.


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


The monument includes the remains of a medieval moated enclosure, and separate fishponds and fowling earthworks. The moat consists of a 50m. square raised platform with a ramped entrance on the north-east side. The original surrounding ditches are currently limited to a short section along the south-west side. An irregular pond at the north-west angle may be a later addition. The platform contains the upstanding remains of the post medieval Manor House which is excluded from the scheduling although the ground beneath is included. A curved outer moat extends to the south-east from the ditched south-east angle of the moat. This extension partially encloses a square subsidiary building platform and is thought to be part of the original design. The remains of contemporary fishponds can be seen south of the moat along 160m. of the Colmworth Brook. These form a series of three ponds of various shapes and forms, two on the north bank and one on the south. Further earthworks some 200m. to the north-west of the moat were constructed in connection with waterfowling activities. These consist of a linear bank 90m. long and 15m. wide with a scarp defining the south end and an oval mound at the north end. Nearby also on the Colmworth Brook is a circular nesting island measuring 20m. in diameter associated with the rearing of waterfowl. The monument consists of four separate areas.

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
Goddard, A R, The Victoria History of the County of Bedfordshire, (1904), 305
Rayner, E, 'Beds Mag' in Colmworth, , Vol. 7, (), 86
Simco, A. et al, Colmworth Manor, 1984, Unpublished field drawing BCC

National Grid Reference: TL 10490 58654, TL 10551 58619, TL 10691 58422, TL 10770 58537


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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 - 1013453 .pdf

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This copy shows the entry on 16-Aug-2018 at 05:16:41.

End of official listing