|Ancient Moat Uncovered at Fulham Palace|
Public tour of ancient site on Monday
Archaeologists have begun excavating the ancient moat which once surrounded Fulham Palace.
Experts believe the moat dates back to medieval times, and that, at 1.4 kilometres, it was once the longest medieval moat in England. Some historians even claim that the moat is older still, perhaps having origins as part of an Iron Age earthwork.
It is hoped that the investigation will reveal vital clues about how the moat was built, maintained and eventually filled in, and results of their work will be reported to a public consultation on the council's proposed restoration of Bishops Park and the grounds of Fulham Palace.
Work at one of the trenches has uncovered a fascinating sluice gate that once controlled the flow of water between the moat and the Thames.
The sluice gate is thought to date back to 1618 and to have been rebuilt following a flood in 1842. It seems to have been further remodelled in 1895 when the river embankment was constructed and Bishops Park laid out.
Though access to the trenches is currently restricted, keen-eyed members of the public can see the top of the sluice gate from Bishops Walk within Bishops Park.
" Fulham Palace's infilled moat has been the topic of much discussion over the years so it is wonderful to be able to see certain parts of it at first hand. As part of the Heritage Lottery Fund bid, we are required us to return the moat under the entrance bridge, even if dry."
June 25, 2009