Moated site at Manor Farm


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Date of most recent amendment:


Ordnance survey map of Moated site at Manor Farm
© Crown Copyright and database right 2019. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2019. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
Use of this data is subject to Terms and Conditions.

The above map is for quick reference purposes only and may not be to scale. For a copy of the full scale map, please see the attached PDF - 1020440 .pdf

The PDF will be generated from our live systems and may take a few minutes to download depending on how busy our servers are. We apologise for this delay.

This copy shows the entry on 13-Oct-2019 at 21:27:08.


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

South Cambridgeshire (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:
TL 43312 55306

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.

Despite infilling of the some of the ditches, the moated site at Manor Farm survives well. The greater parts of the two islands are largely undisturbed and will retain buried evidence for structures and other features relating to former periods of occupation. The buried silts in the base of the ditches 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. Comparisons between this site with further examples, both locally and more widely, will provide valuable insights into developments in the nature of settlements and society in the medieval period.


The monument includes a medieval moated site located at Manor Farm, approximately 150m south of the parish church of St Mary and St Andrew.

The moated site incorporates two adjacent islands, both rectangular in plan, the western island being raised by about 1m above the eastern island. The ground surrounding the moated site slopes gently down to the east, and the eastern part of the eastern island has therefore been raised in order to create a level platform on which buildings, such as the manor house, could be erected. The eastern island measures approximately 66m east-west by 100m north-south and the western island, which measures a maximum of 80m east-west by at least 96m north-south, may have been used as a garden or stock enclosure. Two ponds, formerly visible on the western island, have been infilled but will survive in the form of buried archaeological deposits. The two islands are enclosed on the south and west by a waterfilled moat; shallow linear depressions indicate the position of the eastern arm of the moat and the intervening arm between the two islands, which were infilled in the 19th century and now survive as partly buried features. The western part of the northern moat is also thought to survive as a buried feature. The north eastern part of the moated site has been altered by later development and is not included in the scheduling.

The moated site is associated with the manor of Jaks, which in about 1400 included several estates assembled by the family of Grantchester. At the time of the Domesday Survey, two knights of Count Eustace held of him two and a half hides, which were subsequently divided into two manors based in Grantchester and Coton. By the 12th century the land in Grantchester was owned by the Fercles family, and by 1257 it had passed through marriage into the ownership of John le Moyne and William Appleford, who divided it equally between them. John le Moyne transferred his half to Hugh de Sengham in 1259 and by 1352 it was bought by John Grantchester, whose family already owned substantial lands in the parish. John died in 1362 and the manor then became known by the name of `Jaks' after John's son Jake, who inherited it in about 1371, when he came of age. In 1427 Henry Somer acquired the manor of Jaks together with the manor of Burwash, selling them in 1452 to King's College. The present 15th century house, approximately 30m to the north of the scheduled site and not included in the scheduling, is recorded as having been owned by Henry Somer and is thought to represent a successor to an earlier house, which was situated on the moated site.

The barns on the western island, together with the oil and water tanks, gates, fences, sheds, bridges, the north-south concrete trackways and all other man made surfaces, are all 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:
Legacy System:


Books and journals
The Victoria History of the County of Cambridgeshire200-204
Saltmarsh, J, The Fields of Grantchester, (1958)
Salzman, L F, The Victoria History of the County of Cambridgeshire and the Isle of Ely, (1948), 31
'PCAS' in Notes on Remains of Moats at Coton, Grantchester etc., , Vol. 3, (1873), 288-289
Paterson, H, FMW Report, (1986)
RCHM: West Cambs, (1968)
Title: 1st Edition Ordnance Survey Map Source Date: 1885 Author: Publisher: Surveyor: CRO: XLVII:9
Title: Enclosure map Source Date: 1799 Author: Publisher: Surveyor: CRO: P79/26/2


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

Your Contributions

Do you know more about this entry?

The following information has been contributed by users volunteering for our Enriching The List project. For small corrections to the List Entry please see our Minor Amendments procedure.

The information and images below are the opinion of the contributor, are not part of the official entry and do not represent the official position of Historic England. We have not checked that the contributions below are factually accurate. Please see our terms and conditions. If you wish to report an issue with a contribution or have a question please email [email protected].