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CHER Number:01765
Type of record:Monument
Name:'The Moat', King's Ripton (formerly 'The Mount')


A motte and bailey castle 700m W of Mayfield Heath Farm

Grid Reference:TL 248 754
Parish:Kings Ripton, Huntingdonshire, Cambridgeshire

Monument Type(s):

Protected Status:

  • Scheduled Monument () 1009595: 'The Moat': a motte and bailey castle 700m west of Mayfield Heath Farm

Full description

A motte & bailey castle on a low plateau c. 3km N of the River Ouse at Huntingdon. The motte is an oval mound 3m high, 24m long by 12m wide, lying to the N of the bailey. It is surrounded by a ditch whose outer edge is rectangular in plan, and which is up to 1.5m deep. The ditch is 10m wide on three arms, but the NW arm is only 5m wide. There is an outer bank, 4m wide by 0.5m high, along the SW, SE and NE arms. Although there are no surface traces of a bank on NW arm there is potential for the survival of below-ground evidence. A small irregularly shaped bailey 40m long by 15m wide lies on the SE side of the motte. The bailey ramparts on the E side are thought to have been destroyed by agricultural activity, but the interior is intact, and defences are still visible on the W and S sides. These comprise a 0.5m high bank with a waterlogged outer ditch 7m wide by 1.5m deep. An outlet channel, 7m wide and 1.5m deep, emerges from the SW of the bailey ditch. The outer bank on the SW arm of the motte ditch extends along the W arm of the bailey and the W edge of the outlet channel. The site is now called 'The Moat' but on older maps is called 'The Mount', helping to confirm its identification as a castle. It is situated at the N end of the ancient Royal Forest of Sapley. The site is essentially well-preserved. The interior of the bailey & top of the motte will contain below-ground evidence of building remains, whilst the ditches and buried land surface beneath the motte contain silt deposits from which environmental evidence may be recovered.

2. Earthwork remains visible on LiDAR data from 2016.

<1> Taylor, A., Castles of Cambridgeshire (Bibliographic reference). SCB19242.

<2> Environment Agency, 2016, LIDAR composite digital terrain model (DTM) 1m - Raster image, 01/10/2018 (Geospatial data). SCB54950.

Sources and further reading

<1>Bibliographic reference: Taylor, A.. Castles of Cambridgeshire.
<2>Geospatial data: Environment Agency. 2016. LIDAR composite digital terrain model (DTM) 1m - Raster image. Raster image. 01/10/2018.