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A comprehensive gazetteer and bibliography of the medieval castles, fortifications and palaces of England, Wales and the Islands.
 
 
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Marston Moat, Trudoxhill

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Marston-Bigot

In the civil parish of Trudoxhill.
In the historic county of Somerset.
Modern Authority of Somerset.
1974 county of Somerset.

OS Map Grid Reference: ST76744381
Latitude 51.19313° Longitude -2.33421°

Marston Moat, Trudoxhill has been described as a probable Fortified Manor House.

There are earthwork remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.

Description

A rectangular moated site situated on low lying ground east of the River Frome. The moated site includes an island, measuring 33 metres east-west and 36 metres north-south. The island is level with the surrounding ground surface but has a low bank, 3 metres wide and 0.3 metres high, running along the south and east sides. Surrounding the island is a water filled moat, 7 metres wide. In the north west corner is what is believed to be a submerged causeway across the moat. Marston moat is believed to be the site of the manor house of the Bigot family who held it from before 1195 but who incurred the displeasure of Edward II for fortifying it without a license. Probably rented out as a farmhouse by the mid 15th century. (PastScape)

Marston Moat is a well preserved example of its class and is unusual in possessing a substantial outer bank. Despite being overgrown with trees and being eroded by burrowing animals, it will contain archaeological and environmental information relating to the monument and the landscape in which it was constructed.
The monument includes a rectangular moated site situated on low lying ground east of the River Frome. The moated site includes an island, measuring 33m east-west and 36m north- south. The island is level with the surrounding ground surface but has a low bank, approximately 3m wide and 0.3m high, running along the south and east sides. Surrounding the island is a water filled moat, approximately 7m wide, which, at the north west corner, flows into a field drain system. In the north west corner is what is believed to be a submerged causeway across the moat. Unusually for this class of monument, the moat is surrounded by a substantial outer bank. The bank is not apparent at the extreme north west and south west corners and has an opening, possibly original, on the west side. Elsewhere it has an average width of 13m and varies between 1.8m and 2.25m in height. Marston moat is believed to be the site of the manor house of the Bigot family who held it from before 1195 but who incurred the displeasure of Edward II for fortifying it without a license. (Scheduling Report)

Richard de Bigod ... who, incurring the displeasure of King Edw. II. by fortifying his mansion here without licence, and disrespecting the King's messenger, forfeited his land here to the crown, and it was assigned in trust for a certain time to William de Meriet, John de Meriet, and others (Cart. Antiq.). (Collinson)

Collinson reference is too vague to identify and anyway may just show that the land was held in trust and not the supposed reason for it being taken into royal hands. The site was clearly a moated house but other than Collinson's comment there is nothing to suggest greater fortification than this. It should be noted than medieval latin references to 'fortification' are open to several interpretations including garrisoning and the royal displeasure is much more likely to have been about a show of armed force to the king's messenger rather than anything about the structure of this building or the absence of the kings licence (in medieval terms licence generally meant 'freedom to' rather than being a permit).
Links to archaeological and architectural databases, mapping and other online resources

Data >
PastScape   County HER   Scheduling        
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OS getamap   Streetmap   Old-Maps   Where's the path   NLS maps  
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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.
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This record last updated on Sunday, October 19, 2014

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