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Cippenham Moat

In the civil parish of Slough.
In the historic county of Buckinghamshire.
Modern Authority of Slough.
1974 county of Berkshire.
Medieval County of Buckinghamshire.

OS Map Grid Reference: SU95197976
Latitude 51.50894° Longitude -0.62963°

Cippenham Moat has been described as a probable Fortified Manor House, and also as a probable Palace.

There are earthwork remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.


The moat (to the south of Cippenham court) probably marks the site of what has been called the palace of Richard Earl of Cornwall, King of the Romans. There was certainly a capital messuage with the manor of Cippenham acquired by the Earl of Cornwall in 1252, in which he must occasionally have resided, as his foundation charter to Burnham Abbey in 1266 is dated at Cippenham, but it is hardly likely to have been of more importance than an ordinary manor house (VCH Vol. 3). Moat-condition: good; ditch nearly dry (RCHME) The remains of this moat consist of a large dry ditch with average dimensions of 15.5m. The ditch is crossed by a causeway on its western side. The enclosed area is grass covered and is considerably covered by vague depressions and banks - possibly representing foundations of buildings. (Field Investigator, 1953) A dry sub-rectangular moat under permanent pasture and light scrub. It measures c 115.0m E-W by C 100.0m transversely, varying between 10.0m and 15.0m in width and c 1.5m average depth. A pronounced internal counter scarp (average c 1.2m high) encloses a level interior, where profuse nettle growth indicates former occupation. There is no trace or local information of C13 Royal Manor House site (Field Investigator, 1974). (PastScape)

Richard of Cornwall also built, maintained and stayed in grand residences on his estates that were not castles. Some of his most favoured seats were not fortifed, as is the case with the 'palace' at Cippenham, Berkshire, which you use frequently but fleetingly in the 1260s; the charter founding the nearby Augustinian nunnery of Burnham was also granted here in April 1266, witnessed by Henry III and his court. Lying on the north bank of the Thames only 3 km north-west of Windsor Castle, this residence seems to have been favoured for its proximity to the great royal fortress and had an attached deer park, although no attempt was made to aggrandise it above the level of a manor house. The residence stood within a square moated enclosure no larger than physically indistinguishable from a typical moated site of the period. In this context architectural rivalry with Windsor Castle was impossible and a modest mounted manorial site sufficed, albeit twinned with major religious foundation and embedded within the park. (Creighton 2015)
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:21:02

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