Moated site 90m north west of Moat House


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:


Ordnance survey map of Moated site 90m north west of Moat House
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Huntingdonshire (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:
TL 36994 76103

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 90m north west of Moat House survives well. The island will retain buried evidence for structures and other features relating to the period of 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 moated site was set. Comparisons between this site and further examples, both locally and more widely, will provide valuable insights into the development of settlement in medieval England.


The monument includes a medieval moated site situated 90m north west of Moat House and 230m to the NNW of the parish church of Colne. The moated site includes a roughly square island measuring approximately 40m north west-south east by up to 42m north east-south west, which is raised by about 0.5m above the surrounding ground surface. The island is contained by a seasonally water-filled moat which measures up to 18m wide and between 1.5m and 2m deep. Access to the island is via a wooden bridge across the north west arm of the moat. The moated site is traditionally believed to represent the site of the manor of Colne, also known as Colnes Dunholts and Drury's manor, which was held by the de Colne family in the 12th, 13th and into the 14th centuries. It then passed through marriage into the Dunholt family who held it until 1546. The manor came into the ownership of the Drury family in the early 17th century and continued in their possession until the mid-18th century. A house which formerly stood on the moated site was demolished in about 1787. The bridge across the north east arm of the moat, together with all gates and fencing, 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. It includes a 2 metre boundary around the archaeological features, considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number:
Legacy System:


Books and journals
Simkins, M E, The Victoria History of the County of Huntingdon: Volume II, (1932), 167-9
Copy in SMR, Watson, K, The Medieval Kiln Site, Old Church lane, Colne 1991, (1991)
SMR 3629, Pottery kiln, Colne,


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

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