Marston Moat


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1016302

Date first listed: 01-Nov-1966

Date of most recent amendment: 24-Sep-1997


Ordnance survey map of Marston Moat
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This copy shows the entry on 17-Dec-2018 at 03:19:42.


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

County: Somerset

District: Mendip (District Authority)

Parish: Trudoxhill

National Grid Reference: ST 76753 43814


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.

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.


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


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: 29779

Legacy System: RSM


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

End of official listing