Bury Yard Moated Site Adjacent to Milldyke
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Cambridgeshire County Council
South Cambridgeshire District Council
Bassingbourn cum Kneesworth
OV329329 (532885, 244167)
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A medieval moated site situated immediately to the south west of Mill Lane in a close formerly known as Bury Yard, in the village of Bassingbourn. The monument includes a roughly D-shaped outer ditched enclosure within which is situated a rectangular moat. The inner moat surrounds a raised island measuring 70 metres NNE to SSW and 55 metres ENE to WSW. There are no visible traces of buildings on the moat island but documents of 1280 record a house on the site, and its buried remains will be preserved. To the north, south and west the substantial moat ditch is largely infilled by natural silting. These moat arms are generally waterlogged and seasonally wet. The eastern arm is open and dry. The form of the moat implies a defensive purpose, perhaps associated with the period of civil war bewteen Stephen and Matilda known as the Anarchy. If so, this would date the construction of the moat and house to between about 1130 and 1140. By the early 13th century the manor was in the hands of the Crown, being held during the 14th century by John of Gaunt. In 1455 Bury Yard was granted to John Lynne. His son, Richard, replaced the original house, which is known to have been in ruins by 1436. Remains of Richard's house were still visible in the early 19th century and evidence for this structure will be preserved beneath the present ground surface. It is thought that the D-shaped outer moat was also constructed by Richard Lynne. By the 15th century moats had ceased to have a defensive purpose and Bury Yard was recovered by the Crown in 1520. Scheduled.
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