Cottenham moated site


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1013882

Date first listed: 15-Aug-1983

Date of most recent amendment: 18-Feb-1991


Ordnance survey map of Cottenham moated site
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Cambridgeshire

District: South Cambridgeshire (District Authority)

Parish: Cottenham

National Grid Reference: TL 44930 68075


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.

Cottenham moated enclosure survives as a well defined earthwork. This type of site is considered to be rare in its Fen Edge location. The significance of the monument is increased by the range of historical documentation relating to the site and its association with Crowland Abbey.


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


The monument includes the remains of a Medieval moated enclosure. The enclosure is rectangular in form measuring some 77m by 55m inclusive of the 8m wide surrounding ditches. Entrance to the moated island is provided by a ramped causeway on the south-east side. The interior of the island is raised some 2m above the surrounding land. There are now no visible earthwork remains of Medieval buildings or features on the moated island. An outer scarp surrounds part of the ditch and can be seen along part of the south-west and south-east arms and also along the north-western side of the moat, although here it is largely obscured by recent dumping. The north-eastern side is bounded by a very gradual slope, leading almost up to the modern drain. The remains of an outer moated enclosure formerly recorded as attached to the north-west side of the moat are no longer visible and are not included in the scheduled area. The moated enclosure is believed to be the capital messuage of the Cottenham manor of Crowland Abbey.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.


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

Legacy System number: 11549

Legacy System: RSM


SMR Cambridgeshire,

End of official listing