Moated site 650m south of Beachendon Farm


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1018671

Date first listed: 02-Dec-1998


Ordnance survey map of Moated site 650m south of Beachendon 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: Waddesdon

National Grid Reference: SP 75948 12946


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 650m south of Beachendon Farm survives well. It is largely undisturbed and will retain buried evidence for structures and other features relating to its occupation. The buried silts in the base of the ditch will contain both artefacts relating to the period of occupation and environmental evidence for the appearance of the landscape in which the monument 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 to the south east.

The monument lies in an area where moated sites are relatively numerous, and is situated in close proximity to one such site between Dinton and Upton, 4.5km to the south east. 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 a medieval moated site with a sample of the associated pattern of medieval cultivation earthworks. It is 650m south of Beachendon Farm and immediately north of a branch of the River Thame marking the northern edge of an expanse of flood meadow.

The moated site includes a roughly rectangular island measuring approximately 50m north west-south east by 42m north east-south west. This is contained by a ditch averaging 12m across and between 1m and 1.5m deep. The outer bank, thought to be the upcast from the ditch and visible only on the north west and south west sides, has a maximum height of 1m and width of 8m. An inner bank remains visible on all four sides, measuring about 3m wide and 0.5m high. The island is approached by a causeway on the north western side which measures approximately 8m wide. A narrow leat extends from the southern corner of the moat in a south easterly direction where it would originally have joined the River Thame.

The pasture to the south east of the moated site contains traces of medieval cultivation (ridge and furrow) and a 16m wide sample of the ridge and furrow between the moat and the branch of the River Thame is included in the scheduling in order to protect the archaeological relationship between the cultivation earthworks and the moated site.

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: 32112

Legacy System: RSM


Title: Plan of the Eythrope Estate in the parish of Waddesdon Source Date: 1850 Author: Publisher: Surveyor:
Title: Plan of the Eythrope Estate in the parish of Waddesdon Source Date: 1850 Author: Publisher: Surveyor: D/HJ/5/2.T

End of official listing