Leighton Bromswold Moat in Huntingdonshire

The Ground Plan and description of Leighton Bromswold Moat in Huntingdonshire


Leighton Bromswold Moat

The moat at Leighton Bromswold, Huntingdonshire

The moat at Leighton Bromswold, Huntingdonshire


This interesting earthwork at Leighton Bromswold, the site where Sir Gervase Clifton (died 1618) ‘began to build a goodly house', is a grass field 600 ft. by 300ft.enclosed on three sides by large banks averaging 35 ft. across the base, and being 4ft. 6in. high within the enclosure but 10 ft. outside. On the west side, there is a slightly raised ridge which seems to indicate the line where a bank ran.

At the four corners and almost entirely outside the lines of the banks are curious circular bastions; that at the south-east corner is the best preserved, and is 80 ft. in diameter and its top rises 5 ft. above the bank; those at the other corners appear to have been the same but are not so well preserved. Wherever the edge of the banks and bastions has been cut into a line of broken red bricks, apparently of early date, is exposed, and it would therefore appear that these banks were made by Sir Gervase Clifton, who used the materials of an older house for the purpose.

The bastions were probably merely ornamental features and never intended for purposes of defence. The gatehouse of Sir Gervase Clifton’s house, now a vicarage, has a moat.