Moated site 330m south east of Manor Farm


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1017518

Date first listed: 31-Oct-1972

Date of most recent amendment: 08-Dec-1997


Ordnance survey map of Moated site 330m south east of Manor Farm
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Buckinghamshire

District: Aylesbury Vale (District Authority)

Parish: Bierton with Broughton

County: Buckinghamshire

District: Aylesbury Vale (District Authority)

Parish: Weston Turville

National Grid Reference: SP 84739 13499


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.

Although some damage has been caused by the excavation of building material from part of the northern island, the moated site 330m south east of Manor Farm remains largely undisturbed. The islands are known to contain further buried evidence for the substantial buildings which once stood there, including, perhaps, the remains of the chapel mentioned in documentary sources. Other evidence from the period of occupation will survive in buried features such as wells, yard surfaces and refuse pits, each containing valuable artefactual evidence illustrating the date, duration and character of the monument's use. The silts within the ditches will also retain discarded artefacts, and may contain environmental evidence illustrating the development of the site and the landscape in which it was set. Part of the contemporary management of the surrounding landscape is clearly visible in the surviving pattern of medieval cultivation which abuts the moat.

The monument lies in an area where moated sites are relatively numerous, and is situated in quite close proximity to two such sites; at Manor Farm, Broughton and Vatche's Farm, Aston Clinton. Comparisons between these sites will provide valuable insights into developments in the nature of settlement and society in the medieval period.


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


The monument includes the visible and buried remains of a large medieval moated site and part of the surrounding pattern of medieval cultivation earthworks located on the eastern outskirts of Aylesbury, to the north east of the junction between the A41(T) and Broughton Lane.

The moated site includes two main islands arranged side by side. Both are similar in size and roughly square in plan, and together they cover a rectangular area measuring about 180m from north to south by 90m transversely. The islands are separated by a broad channel, 18m in width and up to 1m in depth, which forms part of a wider circuit of comparable, partly buried ditches surrounding the site.

The northern island contains several broad platforms and numerous minor undulations reflecting the buried foundations of former structures, some of which were identified by probing in 1977. The north western corner of the island shows signs of disturbance, which is believed to have occurred prior to 1862, when documentary evidence records the removal of building materials for use in the construction of the adjacent farmhouse to the north west (Manor Farm).

Fragments of dressed stone are mentioned, and worked pieces (including a pillar from an arcade and a pieces from the moulded jamb of a large 15th century window) were noted in the farmhouse garden in 1912. A subterranean passage, perhaps a medieval drain, was also discovered during this work, and artefacts collected from the site have included quantities of medieval pottery and tile dating from the 13th century, an iron key, pewter spoons, and a coin from the reign of Queen Mary (1553-58).

The southern island, which may have served as an outer courtyard, is largely level. The south eastern corner is isolated by a narrow adjunct from the main ditch which defines a small rectanglar enclosure measuring about 40m by 20m.

The field to the south and west of the moated site contains traces of two furlongs from a medieval open field system which is orientated with the moated site and clearly contemporary with its use. This relationship is particularly noticeable to the south where the pattern of ridge and furrow terminates in a broad headland alongside the moat in order to allow sufficient space to turn the plough team. A 20m wide sample is included in the scheduling in order to protect the archaeological relationship between the cultivation earthworks and the moated site.

Two partly buried channels extend from the north western corner of the moated site. These are thought to represent part of the original outflow system from the moat, the supply channel having been replaced by a modern drainage ditch along the northern boundary of the field. Part of this outflow system: three adjoining outflow leats and a meandering channel extending some 40m to the north west of the moat, is included in the scheduling; the modern ditch is not included.

The moated site has been identified as the possible site of the medieval manor of Broughton Staveley, or Hollands Manor, which may have been established on lands given to Missenden Abbey in the first half of the 12th century, and is reputed to have belonged for a period to the Order of St John of Jerusalem (the Hospitallers). A chapel, one of two recorded as appendant to Weston Turville church in a privilege of Pope Alexander III (1159-81) is believed to have stood on the site, perhaps within the small sub-enclosure on the southern island.

All electricity poles, fences and fence posts are excluded from the scheduling although the ground beneath these features 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: 29411

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Clinch, G, The Victoria History of the County of Buckinghamshire, (1908), 326-7
Clinch, G, The Victoria History of the County of Buckinghamshire, (1908), 324
Eland, G, In Buckinghamshire, (1923), 30
Sheahan, J, History and Topography of Buckinghamshire, (1862), 103/216
Hohler, C, 'Records of Bucks' in Medieval Paving Tiles in Buckinghamshire, , Vol. 14, (1941), 1
Oblique monochrome, Farley, M, A/1/5/16A-17, (1980)
Oblique monochrome, Farley, M, A/15/31/5-7, (1992)
Oblique monochrome, Farley, M, A15/31/5-7, (1992)
Oblique monochrome, St.Joseph, J. K., UE 26-27, (1970)
Oblique monochrome, St.Joseph, J. K., UE 26-27, (1970)
Probe plan (copy held with SMR 0123), Egan, G, Weston Turville Parish - Moat (Double) & Foundations, (1977)
Title: Inclosure Award Map Source Date: 1799 Author: Publisher: Surveyor: PRO IR/8 AR

End of official listing