Manor Farm moated enclosure, fishponds and fowling earthworks


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:


Ordnance survey map of Manor Farm moated enclosure, fishponds and fowling earthworks
© Crown Copyright and database right 2019. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2019. 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 - 1013453 .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 26-May-2019 at 04:11:41.


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

Bedford (Unitary Authority)
National Grid Reference:
TL 10490 58654, TL 10551 58619, TL 10691 58422, TL 10770 58537

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.


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.


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

Legacy System number:
Legacy System:


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


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.

End of official listing

Your Contributions

Do you know more about this entry?

The following information has been contributed by users volunteering for our Enriching The List project. For small corrections to the List Entry please see our Minor Amendments procedure.

The information and images below are the opinion of the contributor, are not part of the official entry and do not represent the official position of Historic England. We have not checked that the contributions below are factually accurate. Please see our terms and conditions. If you wish to report an issue with a contribution or have a question please email [email protected].