Ancient Monuments

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Clapton Hall moated site and fishpond

A Scheduled Monument in Great Dunmow, Essex

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Latitude: 51.86 / 51°51'35"N

Longitude: 0.3601 / 0°21'36"E

OS Eastings: 562618.800409

OS Northings: 220562.756309

OS Grid: TL626205

Mapcode National: GBR NGJ.7W6

Mapcode Global: VHJJF.6J70

Entry Name: Clapton Hall moated site and fishpond

Scheduled Date: 30 September 1993

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1008140

English Heritage Legacy ID: 20720

County: Essex

Civil Parish: Great Dunmow

Traditional County: Essex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Essex

Church of England Parish: Great Dunmow St Mary the Virgin

Church of England Diocese: Chelmsford


The monument at Clapton Hall includes a stirrup-shaped moated site and
fishpond situated on an east facing slope overlooking the River Chelmer, 2.5km
south of Great Dunmow church. The moated site measures 72m NE-SW by 60m NW-SE.
The arms are now dry and measure a maximum of 11m in width and approximately
2m in depth. The north-western arm was constructed to incorporate a stream
which has now dried up. The surface of the island is uneven indicating the
presence of buried remains of earlier structures. 20m north of the moated site
is a sub-rectangular shaped fishpond which was once connected to the moat by
the stream. It is now dry and measures 70m NE-SW by 32m NW-SE and is
approximately 1m deep.
The name Clapton comes from the family of William de Clopton who is first
mentioned in 1345.
The small area of concrete yard that extends into the area of the
scheduling behind the present Clapton Hall is excluded from the scheduling,
though the ground beneath it 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.

The moated site at Clapton Hall is unusual in shape and in its use of the
stream as a moat arm. It survives well and will retain archaeological
information relating to the occupation of the site.

Source: Historic England


SMR NO: 1233, Information from SMR,

Source: Historic England

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