Possible Medieval Moated Site, Nebsworth, Lark Stoke

Description of this historic site

The site of a possible Medieval moated site. The enclosure and ditch survive as an earthwork. The site is located 200m east of Nebsworth Coppice, Lark Stoke.

Notes about this historic site

1 A small earthwork with perfectly square-cut corners of uncertain date and function. The monument is about 34m square and covered in rough grass. The banks stand about 0.6m to 0.9m above the surrounding ground. The central area is hollowed out below ground level in some places and there is a hollowed area about 3m across in the NE side.
2 High up on the hill above Ilmington is a small double-moated enclosure called “The Camp”. It is in a large open field known as Nebsworth. The works are square with slightly rounded corners, covering 0.3ha. The ditch enclosing the area is ‘very perfect’ and within its interior is another ditch. These small remains have been frequently described as Roman. This however is unlikely; it is more likely that the site is an early moated enclosure.
3 The earthwork has caused much argument. The sides are rather less than 61m long and have sharply cut ditches; within is another square ditch 18m or 21m square and in one corner a slight mound. That it is of Medieval origin would appear most probable and it could be a castle, although the elevated and isolated location is unusual.
4 OS Plan.
5 The condition of the interior is sound, but the outer bank is being encroached upon by ploughing.
6 Vertical RAF photos of 1946 revealed a small rectangular earthwork at Lark Stoke, surrouded by ridge and furrow. It was a platform, surrounded by a bank, about 80m x 80m., on rising ground below a high ridge. Though now cultivated, traces of this feature survive, but although the earthwork resembles a medieval house platform or minor moated site, the finds consist only of Romano-British pottery, suggesting that this was a Romano-British earthwork site, most likely a farmstead. It is most unusual for such sites to have survived as visible earthworks until recent times. Reference details are not known for 6 – AS.

See WA2704 and WA9199 for alternative interpretations of this site – AS

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