Moated site at Manor Farm


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1019638

Date first listed: 09-Nov-2000


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

County: Cambridgeshire

District: South Cambridgeshire (District Authority)

Parish: Eltisley

National Grid Reference: TL 27333 59310


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 at Manor Farm survives well. It remains largely undisturbed by post-medieval and modern activity and will retain buried evidence for structures and other features relating to the development and character of the site throughout the periods of occupation. The buried silts in the base of the moat ditch will contain 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 with further examples, both locally and more widely, will provide valuable insights into the developments in the nature of settlement in medieval England.


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


The monument includes a medieval moated site at Manor Farm located 600m to the south east of the parish church of Eltisley.

The moated site includes a roughly rectangular island, measuring up to 74m north-south by 64m east-west. This is surrounded by a water-filled moat measuring an average 12m in width. Access to the island is via a causeway across the north arm of the moat, which may represent the original access. The bridge across the south arm of the moat is believed to be modern. A building platform in the southern half of the island is occupied by Manor Farm House, a Listed Building Grade II of 15th century origin which is not included in the scheduling, although the ground beneath it is included. The building platform measures approximately 12m wide, is raised by up to 1.4m above the surrounding island and extends for a further 20m beyond the western end of the house, suggesting that a longer building formerly occupied the site. A further building platform, measuring approximately 12m north-south by up to 18m east-west and 0.7m high, occupies the north west corner of the island and is considered to represent an ancillary structure, such as a dovecote. Remains of a cobbled yard have been identified to the north of the house. Part of the northern arm of the moat, to the west of the causeway, has been enlarged, in the late 19th century, to form a pond, up to 20m wide. A shallow linear depression in the north part of the island, measuring 20m long and about 5m wide, is thought to represent the remains of a medieval fishpond, modified in more recent times to create a small lily pond.

A further moated site at Pond Farm is located 400m to the north and is scheduled separately (SM33273).

The moated site is thought to represent the manor of Eltisley which in the 12th century was held by the Argentine family of Upleatham, passing by marriage into the FitzErnis family who held it into the early 14th century. By 1349 the manor was settled on Sir Alexander Goldingham and became known as the manor of Stowe or Goldinghams. It later passed through marriage to the Mannock family who owned it until 1657. It was later held by Edward Leeds of Croxton Park and thereafter descended with the manor of Croxton.

Manor Farm House, all farm buildings, garages, walls, fences, gates, modern made up surfaces, together with the summerhouse, shed, patio, stone and concrete steps, garden ornaments, telegraph poles and bridge across the south arm of the moat 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: 33274

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
The Victoria History of the County of Cambridgeshire
RCHM: West Cambridgeshire, (1968)
Title: Tithe Map of Eltisley Source Date: 1841 Author: Publisher: Surveyor: CRO: photostat

End of official listing