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MONUMENT NO. 342627

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The buried and visible remains of a medieval moated site which lies 100 metres to the south east of the parish church of St Mary and St Nicholas. It is roughly rectangular in plan. The island measures some 90 metres north west-south east by 60 metres transversely, and its surface is raised slightly above the level of its immediate surroundings. The north western and south eastern moat arms measure between 15-20 metres across and remain open to a depth of around 1.5 metres. The central section of the south western arm has been largely infilled. The north eastern arm incorporates the natural stream course which flows from a springhead some 200 metres to the south east. Minor excavation on the island between 1951 and 1953 revealed the corner foundations of a building. A number of medieval artefacts were found in association with the foundations, including a 12th-13th century pottery sherd and the strap handle from a 14th century ceramic jug. Roman artefacts, including fragments of tile, plaster and high quality Samian pottery were also found, presumably relating to the Roman villa which is located a short distance away (see SP 70 SE 6). Examining the site in 1908, the antiquarian A Hadrian Allcroft thought he could detect traces of a circular mound which he interpreted as evidence for a motte and bailey castle at Saunderton. The mound can no longer be seen due to the dumping of dredged material in the 1940s, and Allcroft's interpretation of the earthwork cannot be supported by the evidence, the mound probably being natural. The moated site is thought to represent the site of the manor of Saunderton St Mary, which was held by the de Saunderton family from the mid 12th century to the mid 15th century. Scheduled.

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