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HHER Number:1940
Type of record:Monument


Circular earthwork often said to be a moat, but which might be a small bailey or a ringwork of late Saxon or Norman date

Grid Reference:TL 357 337
Map Sheet:TL33SE
Parish:Buckland, East Hertfordshire, Hertfordshire
Map:Show location on Streetmap

Monument Types

  • EARTHWORK (Historic: period uncertain - 410 AD to 1900 AD)
  • ENCLOSURE (Historic: period uncertain - 410 AD to 1900 AD)
  • MOAT? (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1500 AD)
  • MOTTE? (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1500 AD)

Protected Status

  • SHINE: Medieval Circular Moat, now infilled, Southwest of the Church of St Andrews, Buckland
  • Area of Archaeological Significance

Full description

Fragment of a circular homestead moat, SW of the church. Visible on air photos. OS field visit in 1973 recorded the moat as infilled, 'its course being defined by a darker growth of grass within a pasture field' <2>.
Filled in 20 or more years ago. At the time of the visit, there was a circular area in the field where the grass did not protrude through the snow <1>.
1st edition OS maps, and APs taken in 1947, show a large (70m diameter) and almost circular feature (labelled 'Track of Moat' on the 1878 map), with a wide entrance to the NW, at this location. All the photographs show a substantial internal feature, and two (PNO 3678-9) appear to show further earthworks adjacent and to the north.

This site has been interpreted as a homestead moat since the early 20th century <3>, but these earthworks suggest a more complex site, possibly defensive, such as a small motte and bailey, or ringwork. It may be a late Saxon ringwork, 100m SW of the church; it and the church [4334] occupy higher ground overlooking the Roman road. Alternatively, it could be a Norman 'ringwork and bailey' <4> (or both). The 1844 tithe map <5> shows Back Lane and the road north of the church, leading east to Barkway, forming a D-shaped enclosure with Ermine Street on the west side; the Barkway road was straightened out at a later date. This could also suggest a late Saxon date (a thegn's enclosure) or an outer bailey.

Approximately 20m to the east/north east, alongside the road, is an extant waterfilled roadside pond, which OS mapping and photographic evidence suggest may be the slight remains of a moat; see [12355].

OS 25 inch map, 1st edition, 1878 (Cartographic material). SHT8116.

RAF, 1947, Circular earthwork, Buckland, PNO 3573 (Aerial Photograph). SHT14861.

RAF, 1947, Circular moated site, Buckland, PNO 3678 (Aerial Photograph). SHT14966.

RAF, 1947, Circular moated site, Buckland, PNO 3679 (Aerial Photograph). SHT14967.

RAF, 1947, Linear earthworks, Buckland, PNO 3572 (Aerial Photograph). SHT14860.

RAF, 1947, Moated site and linear cropmarks, Buckland, PNO 3574 (Aerial Photograph). SHT14862.

<1> Cave-Penny, Helena (HCC) site report (Unpublished document). SHT4214.

<2> OS Records (Index). SHT8223.

<3> RCHM (England), 1911, Inventory of the historical monuments in Hertfordshire, - p74 (Bibliographic reference). SHT9222.

<4> Information from Derek Renn, Letter, Sept 2011 (Unpublished document). SHT1851.

<5> Tithe map and award, Buckland, 1844 (map) (Cartographic material). SHT1377.

Sources and further reading

---Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1947. Linear earthworks, Buckland. PNO 3572.
---Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1947. Circular earthwork, Buckland. PNO 3573.
---Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1947. Moated site and linear cropmarks, Buckland. PNO 3574.
---Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1947. Circular moated site, Buckland. PNO 3678.
---Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1947. Circular moated site, Buckland. PNO 3679.
---Cartographic material: OS 25 inch map, 1st edition. 1878.
<1>Unpublished document: Cave-Penny, Helena (HCC) site report.
<2>Index: OS Records.
<3>Bibliographic reference: RCHM (England). 1911. Inventory of the historical monuments in Hertfordshire. - p74.
<4>Unpublished document: Information from Derek Renn. Letter, Sept 2011.
<5>Cartographic material: Tithe map and award. Buckland, 1844 (map).