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Moated site, known as `Crows Parlour'.

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: Moated site, known as `Crows Parlour'.

List entry Number: 1014211


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

County: Cambridgeshire

District: South Cambridgeshire

District Type: District Authority

Parish: Fowlmere

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 21-Oct-1977

Date of most recent amendment: 11-Aug-1995

Legacy System Information

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

Legacy System: RSM

UID: 24431

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.

Despite some infilling of the ditches, the moated site known as `Crows Parlour' remains a well preserved example of a small, single island type which retains evidence for the system of water management. The island will contain the buried foundations of buildings, the bridge and other structures related to the period of occupation. The infilled sections of the moat remain preserved as buried features, and together with the open ditches will contain artefactual evidence for the use of the site, within the lower silts. The importance of the site is enhanced by its proximity to `The Round Moat', a fortification which was also in use in the medieval period. Comparison between these sites will provide an insight into the changing requirements of the higher ranks within local medieval society, and provide an archaeological context for the early development of the village.


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


The moated site known as `Crows Parlour', lies on the south eastern edge of the village of Fowlmere, some 150m to the south east of a large medieval ringwork termed `The Round Moat' (which is the subject of a separate scheduling).

The moated island is roughly square in plan, the western and southern sides measuring approximately 34m, some 4m less than the length of the opposing sides. The surrounding ditch varies between 6m in width to the north and west and 4m in width to the south and east. The eastern arm of the moat, together with the adjoining halves of the northern and southern arms descend to a depth of between 1m and 1.5m, and still retain water seasonally. The remaining sections of the moat have largely become infilled over recent years, yet they survive as buried features. The positions of these buried sections are indicated by the upper edge of the inner scarps, and the dimensions have been recorded by earlier surveys.

A narrow outflow channel, also largely infilled but visible as a slight depression, extends northwards for approximately 5m from the north eastern corner of the moat. This feature would originally have joined with the former course of a brook situated on the eastern side of the monument, which has been replaced by a field boundary ditch. The water supply is thought to have been provided by two narrow channels which connected the southern corners of the moat with a leat which crossed the fields further to the south.

The location of a bridge, which would have provided access to the island across the northern arm of the moat, is indicated by a slight narrowing of the ditch some 10m from the north western angle. Material quarried during the construction of the moat was used to create a raised area around the perimeter of the island on all but the northern side. This is particularly noticeable along the eastern edge which retains a raised platform, 0.5m in height and 5m in width, considered to mark the foundations of a former building. The western and southern arms of the moat are also flanked by an external bank, which measures approximately 3m in width and between 0.3m and 0.75m in height.

The moated site is depicted as an old enclosure on a tithe map dated 1847, at which time it contained pasture and was surrounded by water on all but the southern side. The site is apparently unexcavated, although the northern and western arms of the moat were partially recut prior to 1903.

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
Salzman, L F, The Victoria History of the County of Cambridgeshire and the Isle of Ely, (1948), 30
'The Round Moat at Fowlmere' in Proceedings of the Cambridge Antiquarian Society, , Vol. 12, (1908), 114-119
Entry in FMW report, Walters, V, Moated site Crows Parlour, (1975)
RCHME survey (1;2,500) notes, GJM, NAR TL 44 NW 13, (1976)
Tithe map and award, Welstead, A H, CRO 296/P/13, (1847)
Title: Ordnance Survey 25" Series Source Date: 1903 Author: Publisher: Surveyor:
Title: Ordnance Survey 25" Series Source Date: 1974 Author: Publisher: Surveyor:

National Grid Reference: TL 42503 45624


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This copy shows the entry on 23-Sep-2018 at 11:04:19.

End of official listing