Marston Moat


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Date of most recent amendment:


Ordnance survey map of Marston Moat
© 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 - 1016302 .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 20-May-2019 at 22:11:05.


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

Mendip (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:
ST 76753 43814

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.

Marston Moat is a well preserved example of its class and is unusual in possessing a substantial outer bank. Despite being overgrown with trees and being eroded by burrowing animals, it will contain archaeological and environmental information relating to the monument and the landscape in which it was constructed.


The monument includes a rectangular moated site situated on low lying ground east of the River Frome. The moated site includes an island, measuring 33m east-west and 36m north- south. The island is level with the surrounding ground surface but has a low bank, approximately 3m wide and 0.3m high, running along the south and east sides. Surrounding the island is a water filled moat, approximately 7m wide, which, at the north west corner, flows into a field drain system. In the north west corner is what is believed to be a submerged causeway across the moat. Unusually for this class of monument, the moat is surrounded by a substantial outer bank. The bank is not apparent at the extreme north west and south west corners and has an opening, possibly original, on the west side. Elsewhere it has an average width of 13m and varies between 1.8m and 2.25m in height. Marston moat is believed to be the site of the manor house of the Bigot family who held it from before 1195 but who incurred the displeasure of Edward II for fortifying it without a license. Excluded from the scheduling is the fence that surmounts the outer bank, although the ground beneath it is included.

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:
Legacy System:


Books and journals
Collinson, J, History of Somerset, (1791), 213-214


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].