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Ardeley Bury moated site

In the civil parish of Ardeley.
In the historic county of Hertfordshire.
Modern Authority of Hertfordshire.
1974 county of Hertfordshire.
Medieval County of Hertfordshire.

OS Map Grid Reference: TL301271
Latitude 51.92722° Longitude -0.10933°

Ardeley Bury moated site has been described as a Timber Castle although is doubtful that it was such, and also as a Fortified Manor House although is doubtful that it was such.

There are earthwork remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.

Description

The monument at Ardeley Bury is a well preserved example of a moated site. Although altered by 19th century landscaping, the monument retains original features of the island and provides an above average example of an early post- medieval homestead moat.
The moat at Ardeley Bury is situated about 600m west of Ardeley village. The monument includes a large nearly square-shaped moat orientated north-east south-west. It measures c.140m long by c.115m wide. The arms of the moat are dry and are between 15m and 10m wide and are a maximum of 2m in depth. A renovated Tudor house is located in the northern half of the island, with a Grade 2 listed ice house situated about 12m north of the house. Part of the north-east arm has been infilled and forms the causeway onto the island. Footings at the west corner indicate the location of an earlier bridge alongside the modern wooden one. A substantial bank and ditch in the north arc of the moat and on the line of the original moat arm can be attributed to landscaping in the early 19th century. Ardeley Bury house, of mid-Tudor origin is a Grade 2star listed building. (Scheduling Report)

The moat is complete though dry save for the south part of the NE arm which has been filled in (OS record). Large area enclosed by ditch with large bank on W side. A substantial bank and ditch on this side suggest the work might have been a motte and bailey, 'not unlike that at Walkern Bury in the adjacent parish. Sir Henry Chauncy described it as "moated round, with a Mount within the moat, and a Garden-place within the Mount, which seems to be a Mark of a Fortification in the time of the Danish or Baron's Wars"' (Martin and Satchell). Extensive landscaping (including the large lake in front of the house) took place when the house was altered in 1820, and earlier earthworks may have been altered then.
The manor belonged to the Canons of St Paul's Cathedral, from before 1066 until 1808; a motte may be unlikely. Although it was leased out from 1141 the tenants were often canons (Derek Renn pers corr 2011). (Hertfordshire HER)
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Sources of information, references and further reading
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The bibliography owes much to various bibliographies produced by John Kenyon for the Council for British Archaeology, the Castle Studies Group and others.
Suggestions for finding online and/or hard copies of bibliographical sources can be seen at this link.
Minor archaeological investigations, such as watching brief reports, and some other 'grey' literature is most likely to be held by H.E.R.s but is often poorly referenced and is unlikely to be recorded here, or elsewhere, but some suggestions can be found here.
The possible site or monument is represented on maps as a point location. This is a guide only. It should be noted that OS grid references defines an area, not a point location. In practice this means the actual center of the site or monument may often, but not always, be to the North East of the point shown. Locations derived from OS grid references and from latitude longitiude may differ by a small distance.
Further information on mapping and location can be seen at this link.
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This record last updated before 1 February 2016

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