Somersham Palace Moat in Huntingdonshire

The Ground Plan and description of Somersham Palace Moat in Huntingdonshire

 

Somersham Palace Moat

Ground plan of the earthworks around Somersham Palace, Huntingdonshire

Ground plan of the earthworks around Somersham Palace, Huntingdonshire

 

The moats surrounding the Bishop of Ely’s palace at Somersham still remain as wet moats. The stone abutments of the ancient bridge in the middle of the north side still carry the modern brick arch which gives access to the enclosure. On the east, north-east and north-west there are some slight signs of a bank inside the moat, but they were probably never intended to serve any defensive purpose. The whole of the buildings have been demolished. The area enclosed is about 940 ft. by 400 ft. Outside the enclosure on the north side are two large sunk spaces, one 470 ft. by 280 ft., the other 270 ft. by 180 ft; they are about 5 ft. deep, and are said to be fish-ponds on the south.

In a grass field to the south of the enclosure is a square moat of the homestead type, which although within the Bishop’s Park, probably had nothing to do with the other earthworks.