Ancient Monuments

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Moated site in Crow's Wood, 700m south west of the ruined church of St James

A Scheduled Monument in Springwood, Norfolk

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Latitude: 52.7553 / 52°45'18"N

Longitude: 0.4534 / 0°27'12"E

OS Eastings: 565664.450747

OS Northings: 320337.5029

OS Grid: TF656203

Mapcode National: GBR P54.7FH

Mapcode Global: WHJP7.Y02L

Entry Name: Moated site in Crow's Wood, 700m south west of the ruined church of St James

Scheduled Date: 20 April 1994

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1008353

English Heritage Legacy ID: 21326

County: Norfolk

Electoral Ward/Division: Springwood

Built-Up Area: King's Lynn

Traditional County: Norfolk

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Norfolk


The monument includes a moated site located on low ground in the parish of
Bawsey. The central platform of the moated site has dimensions of c.35m south
east-north west by c.33m north east-south west and is raised c.0.5m above the
prevailing ground level. This is surrounded by a moat ditch which has a
minimum depth of 1.2m and measures up to 13m wide with shallow, sloping sides
in the northern, eastern and southern arms, narrowing to a minimum of 5m wide
in the western arm. The moat is silted but remains damp at the bottom and
seasonally wet. The western arm is crossed by a causeway which has a dished
profile and is probably not original. Along the outer edge of the eastern arm
there is a broad, low bank c.0.4m in height and c.13m wide.

Adjoining the northern side of the moat, at the eastern end, is a smaller,
external rectangular enclosure with internal dimensions of c.16m north west-
south east by c.13m north east-south west, surrounded by a dry ditch c.4m
wide and 0.75m deep. The eastern and western arms of this ditch end short of
the outer edge of the moat ditch, in which there are corresponding bays,
leaving causeways c.5m wide between.

The monument as a whole, including the external enclosure and the bank on the
eastern side, has maximum overall dimensions of c.74m north east-south west
by c.67m north west-south east.

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 in Crow's Wood survives well and is unencumbered by modern
building. The earthworks and central platform, and also the smaller
enclosure, will retain archaeological information concerning the construction
and use of the site. Evidence for earlier land use and the local environment
at that time will be preserved in the soils buried beneath the raised platform
and the external bank on the east side. The proximity of the site to the
ruined church gives it additional interest.

Source: Historic England

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