Camlet Moat, Enfield
Address: Situated in Trent Country Park, Cockfosters. OS Grid Reference TQ288982
Access: By car – use the Hadley Road Entrance at the northern edge of the park. From the car park follow the track west, keeping close to the road. The moat is in a fenced area visible to the north of the track. There is no close public transport, but the moat may be reached by a walk of approximately two and a half kilometres through the Country Park from Cockfosters Underground Station. Tracks are muddy and wheelchair access, even from the car park, would be difficult.
Open: During daylight hours.
Camlet Moat lies in what was the Royal Hunting Forest of Enfield Chase, and was probably the location of the Forester's Lodge.
Many early medieval moated sites have been recognised in the London area. Camlet Moat is a particularly well-preserved and accessible example of the type. Timbers from the bridge over the moat have been dated to approximately 1357. The reasons for the construction of moated sites such as this are unclear, but status and prestige seem the most likely reasons. Defence, drainage and sanitation are also possible motives, or the moat may have been purely ornamental.
The moat at Camlet has attracted more than usual interest for a number of reasons. Sir Walter Scott mentions it in The Fortunes of Nigel. The name Camlet is said to derive from "Camelot", with implied Arthurian associations, and the moat is also said by some to be haunted by the ghost of the twelfth century knight Geoffrey de Mandeville. Elsewhere in Trent Park the visitor can view the grounds laid out in part by Repton. The House, now part of Middlesex University, is listed Grade 2.
Although Camlet Moat is not signposted within the Country Park, the site itself can be identified by the wooden perimeter fence, with information boards at the corners nearest the track.