Moated Site and Fishponds east of Rowden Manor


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1013876

Date first listed: 07-May-1957

Date of most recent amendment: 23-Jun-2017

Location Description: Moated Site and Fishponds east of Rowden Manor, Rowden Lane, Chippenham, Wiltshire


Ordnance survey map of Moated Site and Fishponds east of Rowden Manor
© 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 - 1013876 .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 17-Dec-2018 at 09:25:42.


Location Description: Moated Site and Fishponds east of Rowden Manor, Rowden Lane, Chippenham, Wiltshire

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

District: Wiltshire (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Lacock

National Grid Reference: ST9185972009


The monument includes a medieval moated site and associated fishponds to the east of Rowden Manor.

Reasons for Designation

The moated site and fishponds to the east of Rowden Manor are scheduled for the following principal reasons: * Survival: both the moated site and its associated fishponds survive well; * Rarity: this is one of the few known examples in Wiltshire; * Documentation: there is a good level of historical documentation concerning the house that occupied the moated site, including the part it played during the Civil War; * Potential: the survival of archaeological deposits, including waterlogged organic material, has the potential to enhance our knowledge and understanding of the site; * Group value: its interest is enhanced by the historical relationship with adjacent Rowden Manor (listed Grade II*), a former lodging range to the moated house.


Rowden Manor is first recorded in 1208 on the Curia Regis Rolls as Ruedon which derives from the phrase 'rough down'. The main house had a courtyard plan and stood on a platform surrounded by a moat. It was bought by the Hungerford family in 1434, but was confiscated by the Crown following the execution of Sir Thomas Hungerford for treason in 1462. It was bought back by Sir Walter Hungerford IV in the 1540s. During the English Civil War the owner, Sir Edward Hungerford, sided with the Parliamentarians and the house was subject to a series of Royalist attacks. It was first attacked on 20 March 1643. The second attack was on 17 July 1643, and around this time it was briefly used as a garrison for circa 200 men. The final assault in February 1645 included two days of heavy bombardment resulting in the house being set on fire and subsequently dismantled. The present Rowden Manor (listed Grade II*) dates from the mid-C16, with possible earlier fabric, and was built as a lodging range to the old house. One of the surviving barns (listed Grade II) also has possible medieval origins.

The foundations of the moated house were noted as traceable in 1894. By 1956 the house platform was planted with an orchard and the moat ditches were c1m deep and mostly silted up. The earthworks of the moated house were identified during field investigations in 1966. During the National Archaeological Identification Survey West Wiltshire Lowland Pilot Project in 2013, the site was subject to remote sensing survey using aerial photography and lidar (a laser-based remote sensing method used to examine the surface of the Earth). This confirmed the location of the remains of the moated manor site and associated fishponds, as well as providing greater detail with regards the extent of these features. It also provided a fuller record of other archaeological features in the fields surrounding the moated site. These include a combination of sunken tracks to the S and W of the site and field boundaries in the form of lynchets. These are considered to represent probable medieval settlement activity and field boundaries, as well as earthworks that may relate to the Civil War occupation. In 2014 remote sensing analysis and field walking were carried out in advance of a proposed nearby development, providing further information of the surrounding landscape


PRINCIPAL FEATURES: the monument includes a medieval moated site and associated fishponds to the east of Rowden Manor.

DESCRIPTION: the site survives as the earthwork and buried remains of a square, ditched enclosure aligned west-north-west to east-south-east and measuring approximately 80m square, situated to the south-east of a C16 farmhouse. The moat ditches survive to a width of 12m and a depth of 1m on the west side, but are otherwise largely silted up or infilled. The moated island survives as a level platform approximately 50m square. There is no visible evidence of the original house but buried features relating to this building are likely to survive beneath the ground surface. Beyond the moated site is a water-management system with at least three rectilinear fishponds which are considered to be contemporary with the moated site, as well as a series of adjacent associated banks and ditches.

EXCLUSIONS: all fences, fence posts, gate posts, garden walls, modern road and path surfaces, garden buildings and furniture, are excluded from the scheduled area; however, the ground beneath these features is included.


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

Legacy System number: 12036

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Daniell, J J, History of Chippenham, (1894)
MWI5239 - ST97SW457 Wiltshire and Swindon Historic Environment Record: Rowden Farm , accessed 14 March 2017 from
Pastscape 212499: Rowden, accessed 14 March 2017 from
CGMS, 2014, Specialist Walkover Survey And Aerial Photography Review
D2 Planning Limited, 2016, Environmental Statement Addendum Rowden / Patterdown, Chippenham
LIDAR ST9172 DSM 02-16-APR-2005
RAF/540/549 4015 14-JUL-1951

End of official listing