Ancient Monuments

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Latchley's Farm moated site and fishponds

A Scheduled Monument in Steeple Bumpstead, Essex

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Latitude: 52.0296 / 52°1'46"N

Longitude: 0.435 / 0°26'6"E

OS Eastings: 567143.917853

OS Northings: 239593.554963

OS Grid: TL671395

Mapcode National: GBR NDH.NSX

Mapcode Global: VHJHP.H7BZ

Entry Name: Latchley's Farm moated site and fishponds

Scheduled Date: 12 January 1994

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1008191

English Heritage Legacy ID: 20740

County: Essex

Civil Parish: Steeple Bumpstead

Traditional County: Essex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Essex

Church of England Parish: Steeple Bumpstead St Mary

Church of England Diocese: Chelmsford


The monument at Latchley's Farm includes a rectangular moated site and the
sites of two fishponds situated on high ground 1.5km south-west of Steeple
Bumpstead parish church. The moated site measures 82m east-west by a maximum
of 80m north-south with arms approximately 17m in width and 2m in depth. The
north-east corner of the moat has been enlarged to form a watering place for
cattle. The moat is kept waterfilled by a spring. The banks of the moat
have been revetted with metal posts and oak planks in order to prevent the
banks from collapse. A 16th century brick-built bridge, which is a Grade II
Listed building, 3m wide, gives access to the island across the southern arm
of the moat. The bridge is included in the scheduling. The island is occupied
by an L-shaped house which dates from about 1520 and is a Grade II* Listed
building. Although no longer visible at ground level two fishponds are
situated to the south-east of the moat and connected to the moat by leats.
These have been filled-in in modern times and are preserved as buried
features. The northern one measures 35m by 10m NE-SW. The southern pond
measures 22m east-west by a maximum of 7.5m north-south.
The manor of Latchley's is considered to have been that associated with the
family of Henry de Latchelye in 1310. The house and garden wall are excluded
from the scheduling although the ground beneath them 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 moat at Latchley's Farm is well preserved and will retain archaeological
information relating to the construction and occupation of the monument. The
waterfilled ditches will retain environmental evidence relating to the economy
of the inhabitants and the landscape in which they lived. Although the
fishponds have been infilled they are preserved as buried features and will
retain archaeological information relating to the water management system in
use at this site.

Source: Historic England


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

Source: Historic England

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