Ancient Monuments

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Friar's Grange moated site

A Scheduled Monument in Aythorpe Roding, Essex

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Latitude: 51.8046 / 51°48'16"N

Longitude: 0.3246 / 0°19'28"E

OS Eastings: 560369.26484

OS Northings: 214326.856378

OS Grid: TL603143

Mapcode National: GBR NH1.YNW

Mapcode Global: VHHM4.KWZZ

Entry Name: Friar's Grange moated site

Scheduled Date: 16 November 1993

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1007839

English Heritage Legacy ID: 20709

County: Essex

Civil Parish: Aythorpe Roding

Traditional County: Essex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Essex

Church of England Parish: Aythorpe Roding St Mary the Virgin

Church of England Diocese: Chelmsford


The monument includes a moated site situated on an east-facing slope
overlooking the River Can, 2.25km south-east of Aythorpe Roding church. The
moated site is rectangular in shape and measures 90m east-west by a maximum of
93m north-south. The southern and western arms of the moat remain as dry
ditches 5m wide and range between 3.5m and 1.5m in depth. The north part of
the western arm has been widened to form a pond which retains water. The
northern arm and part of the eastern arm have been infilled and are
preserved as buried features beneath the present farmyard. The remainder of
the eastern arm, which has been widened to 12m, retains water and is used as a
pond. Channels for land drainage join the moat at the south-east and south-
west corners.
The present house at Friar's Grange dates from the 15th century and is Listed
Grade II*.
The "Grange of Roenges Aytrop" is mentioned in 1251 and belonged to Tilty
Abbey in 1521.
The present house, greenhouse, shed, outbuildings, (including the 17th century
granary which is Listed Grade II) and driveway are all excluded from the
scheduling, although the ground beneath these features is included.

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.
It includes a 2 metre boundary around the archaeological features,
considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Around 6,000 moated sites are known in England. They consist of wide ditches,
often or seasonally water-filled, partly or completely enclosing one or more
islands of dry ground on which stood domestic or religious buildings. In some
cases the islands were used for horticulture. The majority of moated sites
served as prestigious aristocratic and seigneurial residences with the
provision of a moat intended as a status symbol rather than a practical
military defence. The peak period during which moated sites were built was
between about 1250 and 1350 and by far the greatest concentration lies in
central and eastern parts of England. However, moated sites were built
throughout the medieval period, are widely scattered throughout England and
exhibit a high level of diversity in their forms and sizes. They form a
significant class of medieval monument and are important for the understanding
of the distribution of wealth and status in the countryside. Many examples
provide conditions favourable to the survival of organic remains.

Despite the infilling of the northern and part of the eastern arms, the moated
site at Friar's Grange is well preserved and will retain archaeological
information pertaining to the occupation of the site. The water-filled ponds
will retain environmental evidence relating to the economy of its inhabitants
and the landscape in which they lived. It has a documented association with
Tilty Abbey.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Reaney, PH, Place names of Essex, (1935)

Source: Historic England

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