Moated Site in Bower Wood, 560m South West of Bower Wood Cottages
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Buckinghamshire County Council
South Bucks District Council
SE954954 (495365, 188490)
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A small medieval moated site and adjoining fishpond situated on the floor of a shallow valley separating Bower Wood from Burtley Wood. The island is roughly rectangular, enclosed by a pronounced internal bank with breaks on all but the south western side. The internal area measures circa 20 metres along the longer WSW-ENE axis by 11 metres, and contains minor undulations which suggest the position of former structures towards the western side. The encircling moat averages 7 metres in width and 1.5 metres deep on three sides, with steep sides and deep deposits of humic silt in the base. The fourth side (to the south west) is partly infilled and appears as only a slight depression. The fishpond forms a continuation of the north eastern arm of the moat. It is presently about 1 metre deep, and also contains deep deposits of accumulated leaf mould and silt. The southern end is partly blocked by a low earthern dam, which allows a narrow outflow channel to drain into the marshy land to the south east. A wooden sluice may have originally been employed in this gap to maintain the water level in the pond and moat, and hurdles or nets staked across the northern end of the pond would have been sufficient to contain the stock. Evidence for both features is thought likely to survive buried within the basal silts. There is no direct documentary evidence for the moated site. It may, however, be associated with a deer park located to the south of Beaconsfield which was recorded in a grant of land by Duncan de Lascelles around AD 1200. The scale of the site and its remote location may indicate its use as a hunting lodge. Scheduled.
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