Caxton Castle in Cambridgeshire is also known locally as ‘The Moats’. This interesting site consists of three moated enclosures that have an uncertain date. Pottery finds recovered from the site include Roman, St Neots (AD 900-1200) and 13th Century wares. Signs of Saxon and Norman occupation of the site have also been found.
It has been suggested that the site at Caxton resembles the construction of Burwell Castle near Cambridge and that it was one of King Stephen’s castles that was constructed during a period of civil war known as ‘the Anarchy’. The layout of the site at Caxton has been compared to Burwell Castle, also in Cambridgeshire, which is known to have built by King Stephen during the Anarchy.
It has also been suggested that the site was the location of the home of the de Scalers family who were given the manor by William I (the Conqueror).
Out of the three enclosures at Caxton, the most significant in stature is located to the north-west of the others and consists of an island that is roughly 75 metres by 45 metres and is surrounded by a moat. The moat measures roughly 18 metres in width and 2.5 metres in depth. The enclosure is oriented east-west. At either end of the island there is a raised area.
The other moated enclosures lie to the south and the east, as well as other earthworks for fishponds, a rabbit warren and other signs of occupation.
Caxton Castle (The Moats) is on private land but is viewable from a public footpath that runs alongside.