The Manor of Moyne: moated site 370m north west of White House Farm


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1017883

Date first listed: 25-Oct-1954

Date of most recent amendment: 12-Mar-1998


Ordnance survey map of The Manor of Moyne: moated site 370m north west of White House Farm
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Cambridgeshire

District: Huntingdonshire (District Authority)

Parish: Upwood and the Raveleys

National Grid Reference: TL 24648 81808


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.

The moated site known as the Manor of Moyne survives well. The circuit of the moat is complete and shows little sign of modern disturbance. The fills within the moat will contain valuable artefactual evidence related to the period of occupation, and environmental evidence illustrating the appearance of the landscape in which the monument was set. The island contains visible and buried evidence for a variety of structures which will represent the character of the settlement. These will include the site of the main dwelling and various ancillary buildings together with other buried features such as yards and refuse pits. The fishponds are a significant illustration of the economy and status of the site. Ponds of this type are a characteristic feature of a wide range of medieval settlements. The artificial pools were constructed for the purpose of cultivating, breeding and storing fish in order to provide a constant and sustainable food supply. On sites such as the Manor of Moyne, the moat itself would almost certainly have served as part of the system with the ponds being used to rear the fry and to separate stocks of differing age or species. The difficulty of obtaining fresh meat throughout the year was only one reason for the development of fishponds. The ponds also enabled compliance with religious dietary requirements (eating fish on Fridays and other fast days) and served as a status symbol, enhancing the prestige of the household. The visible remains of the fishponds at the Manor of Moyne are good examples of internal and external ponds, and the silts within them will retain further artefactual and environmental evidence related to the period of use. The mill mound is also a significant indication of the site's economy. Windmills of the medieval period were wooden structures mounted on central posts attached to cross timbers embedded in an earthen mound for stability. The superstructure was rotated to face into the wind by pushing a pole projecting from the mill on the opposite site to the sails, the end of which was often supported by a wheel which left a characteristic channel around the mound. The appearance of the superstructure is only known from documentary evidence as no medieval examples have survived. The mounds sometimes remain and those, such as at the Manor of Moyne, which are found in association with contemporary monuments are considered nationally important. The mill mound at the Manor of Moyne will retain buried evidence for the position of the central post and will contain further evidence for the structure on which the windmill was mounted. Its presence signifies part of the agricultural role of the settlement and, as mills were often controlled by manorial lords, has implications for the social standing of the moated site.


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


The monument includes a medieval moated site known as the Manor of Moyne or Moygne, situated to the east of, and partly within, Raveley Wood, some 370m north west of White House Farm. The rectangular island is defined by a moat averaging 5m in width and up to about 3m deep. The northern and western arms retain standing water and the eastern arm is waterlogged. The southern arm has been partly infilled and is now dry. The outer edge of the moat is embanked to the north, west and south. No causeway across the moat is apparent, and it is probable that access to the island was originally via a bridge. A slight bank follows the edge of the island around the south western corner, the western and northern sides. The bank can only be traced along the northern half of the eastern side. Here, roughly at the centre, it turns west towards the middle of the island, forming a partial division between the northern and southern portions. At the north western corner of the island, in the angle of the bank, is a rectangular depression which is considered to be a fishpond. It measures about 40m long by 24m wide. The southern and eastern sides descend in a slight step, suggesting perhaps that the pond has been enlarged, possibly to form an area for skating during the post medieval period. There is a low, oval mound to the east of the fishpond, perhaps the upcast from the construction of the pond. A circular mound attached to the bank at the north eastern corner of the island may reflect the location of a structure such as a dovecote. Other surface irregularities towards the centre of the island and in the southern portion also suggest the locations of former buildings including the principal dwelling. On the outer edge of the moat, at the south eastern corner, a mound about 1.3m high and 12m in diameter, indicates the site of a former windmill. The mound is flat topped and there is a slight ramp to the south east. A second fishpond measuring about 32m long by 10m wide lies to the south west of the mill mound. The moated site has been identified with the Manor of Moyne. In the 11th century this manor was held by Edwin who may have been the son of Ailwin, the founder of Ramsey Abbey. Early in the 12th century Abbot Rainald of Ramsey Abbey gave the manor to Hervey le Moine, one of the abbey's knights. The Moyne family held the property, which came to bear their name, until the 15th century when it passed through the female line to the Hores of Childerley. However, in 1453, by an agreement between John Hore and the then Abbot of Ramsey, John Stow, the manor was bought back by the abbey. After the Dissolution of the monasteries the property was acquired by Sir Richard Cromwell who granted it to the Sewsters of Ashwell in Hertfordshire in 1542. By marriage the manor came into the hands of the Peyton family and passed to Henry Dashwood, nephew of Sir Thomas Peyton in 1771. Henry Dashwood changed his name by Act of Parliament to Henry Peyton in that year and his descendants continued to hold the property into the present century. All 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: 29706

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Ladds, S I, The Victoria History of the County of Huntingdon, (1926), 198-201
Text, 01030 Manor of Moygne (site of), (1974)

End of official listing