Moated site 90m south of Barsey Farm


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1019878

Date first listed: 24-Nov-2000


Ordnance survey map of Moated site 90m south of Barsey Farm
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This copy shows the entry on 15-Dec-2018 at 16:33:19.


The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Cambridgeshire

District: South Cambridgeshire (District Authority)

Parish: Shudy Camps

National Grid Reference: TL 63981 45386


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.

Fishponds are artificially created pools of slow moving fresh water constructed for the purpose of cultivating, breeding and storing fish in order to provide a constant and sustainable food supply. The tradition of constructing and using fishponds began in the 12th century. They were largely the province of the wealthier sectors of medieval society, and are considered important as a source of information concerning the economy of various classes of medieval settlements and institutions.

The moated site and associated ponds at Barsey Farm survive well. The island remains largely undisturbed and will retain buried evidence for structures and other features relating to the earlier periods of occupation. Despite partial infilling, the buried silts in the base of the ditches and ponds will contain both artefacts relating to the period of occupation and environmental evidence for the appearance of the landscape in which the moated site is 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 association of the medieval remains with that of a trackway, thought to date from the Roman period, provides evidence for the evolution of the landscape over a period of nearly two thousand years.


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


The monument includes a medieval moated site with associated fishpond 90m south of Barsey Farm.

The moated site includes a sub-oval shaped island measuring approximately 72m north east-south west and up to 66m north west-south east. In the north east part a sub-rectangular shaped building platform, approximately 12m by 7m, indicated by a cropmark (areas of enhanced plant growth over buried archaeological features) which is visible on the ground, may mark the site of an earlier building. The island is contained by the remains of a moat, still water-filled on three sides, where it measures up to 8m wide and 1m in depth. The north western part of the moat now widens into a small sub-circular pond, measuring approximately 20m in diameter, which has a small ornamental island in the centre. This pond is thought to be a 20th century garden feature. The northern part of the moat was infilled during the 19th century and is now partly overlain by the present house, although it will survive as a buried feature. To the south of the southern corner of the moat a small irregular shaped pond is separated from the moat by a narrow causeway. This may represent a small fishpond used for raising fish prior to their release in the adjacent moat.

About 8m to the west of the moated site, and parallel with its north western arm, is a linear pond 48m long and 12m wide, thought to represent the remains of a further fishpond contemporary with the moated site. The fishpond is separated from the moat by a raised trackway which may be Roman in origin. A 104m long section of the trackway adjacent to the west of the moated site is included in the scheduling.

Barsey Farm is thought to be named after William of Berardsay who owned land in Shudy Camps in 1279. In the 14th century the estate was in the ownership of the Gatesbury family and, when Richard Braughing sold the manor in 1534, it was known as Berarsheys.

The southern corner of the present house, together with its cellars, patio, and all fences and walls, are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath them 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: 33268

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
The Victoria History of the County of Cambridgeshire39
The Victoria History of the County of Cambridgeshire53
Burnett, Mrs, (1999)
Title: 1st Edition Ordnance Survey Map Source Date: 1886 Author: Publisher: Surveyor: CRO: LX.2
Title: 1st Edition Ordnance Survey Map Source Date: 1886 Author: Publisher: Surveyor: CRO: XL.2
Title: A Map of an estate in Shedicamps in Cambridgeshire Source Date: 1721 Author: Publisher: Surveyor: CRO: L86/83
Title: Tithe Map of Shudy Camps Source Date: 1841 Author: Publisher: Surveyor: photostat in CRO

End of official listing