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CHER Number:01100
Type of record:Monument
Name:Moated site, Hardwick

Summary - not yet available

Grid Reference:TL 372 582
Parish:Hardwick, South Cambridgeshire, Cambridgeshire

Monument Type(s):

  • MOAT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • EARTHWORK (Medieval - 1066 AD? to 1539 AD?)
  • YARD (Medieval to 19th century - 1066 AD? to 1900 AD?)
  • POST HOLE (Medieval to 19th century - 1066 AD? to 1900 AD?)
  • GULLY (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • DITCH (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • STRUCTURE (Medieval to 19th century - 1066 AD? to 1900 AD?)
  • BEAM SLOT (Medieval to 19th century - 1066 AD to 1900 AD)
  • CONSTRUCTION TRENCH (Medieval to 19th century - 1066 AD to 1900 AD)

Associated Finds:

  • SHERD (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)

Associated Events:

  • Trial excavation at the Moated Site at Hardwick, 1974

Protected Status:

  • SHINE: Earthworks of a rectangular ditch or moated site, 40m north of Manor Crescent, Hardwick

Full description

2. A rectangular area 106ft E to W by 156ft is surrounded by a ditch 13ft to 25ft wide, almost completely filled on the N but up to 5ft deep, and wet, on the S. A ditch 12ft wide and 3ft to 4ft deep runs E for 40ft from the N end of the surviving part of the E side. The interior on the S is raised 1,25ft for a distance of 56ft from the S side. Scarps and ditches S of the site apparently mark the boundaries of closes shown on the Inclosure and tithe maps of 1836".

02, The feature previously published as waterfilled is now dry except for a small puddle at the NE extremity where, as well as an outward extension, a slight inturning suggests a N arm. There is no other evidence for this, a baulk on line appears to be there in its own right and not as the remains of a ditch. Two similar sized platforms ranged northwards may have been associated but not in a defensive capacity, although authority 2 seems to have identified their central break as a nearly filled moat ditch. The area to the S is now being developed as a small housing estate. Published 25in survey revised.

3. Possibly a mutilated homestead moat. The moat being perimeter/decoration rather than defensive.

03, The site was partially excavated by LM Groube in 1975, for Cambridgeshire Archaeological Committee. A limited excavation of the interior produced no features and the ditch was crossed by a ramp paved with large stones and bricks (after 1850). The absence of this site from the 1837 enclosure map suggests it may not be Med.

2. Excavations were carried out in January and February 1975 by the Cambridgeshire Archaeological Committee on behalf of the DoE under the direction of LM Groube. The site was thought to be a Medieval Homestead moat. A rectangular area 106ft by 156ft was surrounded on three sides by a ditch 13ft to 25ft wide and on the S side up to 5ft deep (Inf: RCHM, W Cambs) until 1974 when the ditch was filled in and the site was ploughed for the first time. A trial-trench in 1974 had produced some C12 pottery and an area of "paving". An area excavation was set out to overlap with the infilled moat, giving a half cross-section and a long transverse section along the centre of the ditch. This, it was hoped, would indicate the date, nature, and later history of the moat and produce evidence of the occupation of the interior. The limited area of the interior that was stripped produced no features apart from drains, and the Medieval sherds recovered were mixed with more recent rubbish. The excavation of the ditch was hampered by flooding, in spite of continual use of a pump. It was possible to prove, however, that the ditch came to an end in the region excavated, ramping up to the surface and giving a broad "entrance". This ramp was paved with large stones and bricks (post 1850). It could, of course, be part of a conversion of a pre-existing structure, but the stratigraphic evidence, strengthened by the existence of a cross-drain which was thought to be cut by the moat, and the absence of a moated site on the Inclosure map of 1837 suggest that this may not, after all, have been one of the large number of medieval homestead moats of W Cambs. (for full report see Parish File).

4. Close to village in flat country. At this date the only remnant is a length of ditch immediately adjoining and parallel with the back of the house plots. Its length (incomplete) is 30m and width 5m. Cultivation has been taken very close. Trial excavation by Mr. Colin Haselgrove of Dept of Archaeology, Durham University, gave C12 - C14 pot but no foundations: no published report.

5. Resurveyed; depth of ditch is 1,1m.
6. Excavation report (C Haselgrove) held on microfilm, PRN 16, Excavation Index PRN 18406. Date 1974 - 1975. Archive held by HBMC.
7. Site visit. Ploughed but still visible as earthwork.
8. The area to the S of this site has now been developed as a small housing estate.

4, 8. The moat described is obscured by trees on air photographs but numerous other platforms, scarps and ditched enclosures can be seen immediately to the north and south. These features, which are centred at approximately TL 3720 5824, lie on the same alignment as the supposed moat and also occupy a strip of land which is the same width. This broader context may indicate that the 'moat' is infact just part of a linear arrangement of settlement enclosures. The earthworks appear to be no longer extant on the latest 2013 vertical photography but the site of the moat is obscured by trees so no assessment could be made of its survival.

<1> Ordnance Survey, 1960, OS 6 inch map (Map). SCB9012.

<2> RCHM, 1968, An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in the County of Cambridgeshire. Volume I. West Cambridgeshire, 126 - 8 (ill) (Bibliographic reference). SCB18049.

<3> Webster, L.E. and Cherry, J., 1976, Medieval Britain in 1975. Med Arch 20: 158-201, p. 195 (Article in serial). SCB7403.

<4> CUCAP, CUCAP 03/02/1970 BAN 74, 31/01/1973 BLP 77 (Aerial Photograph). SCB2865.

<5> Haselgrove, C., 1984, The Moated Site at Hardwick, West Cambridgeshire. PCAS 72: 48- 54 (Article in serial). SCB10285.

<6> Seaman, B.H., Field Investigator Comments, 3/4/73 (Verbal communication). SCB61886.

<7> Dickson, R., Field Investigator Comments (Verbal communication). SCB60613.

<8> SW Cambridgeshire project 2014 (NHPP), 2016, MAL/69053 V 0182 08-JUN-1969 (Geospatial data). SCB63293.

Sources and further reading

<1>Map: Ordnance Survey. 1960. OS 6 inch map.
<2>Bibliographic reference: RCHM. 1968. An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in the County of Cambridgeshire. Volume I. West Cambridgeshire. 126 - 8 (ill).
<3>Article in serial: Webster, L.E. and Cherry, J.. 1976. Medieval Britain in 1975. Med Arch 20: 158-201. p. 195.
<4>Aerial Photograph: CUCAP. CUCAP 03/02/1970 BAN 74, 31/01/1973 BLP 77.
<5>Article in serial: Haselgrove, C.. 1984. The Moated Site at Hardwick, West Cambridgeshire. PCAS 72: 48- 54.
<6>Verbal communication: Seaman, B.H.. Field Investigator Comments. 3/4/73.
<7>Verbal communication: Dickson, R.. Field Investigator Comments.
<8>Geospatial data: SW Cambridgeshire project 2014 (NHPP). 2016. MAL/69053 V 0182 08-JUN-1969.