Ancient Monuments

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Thunderley Hall moated site and fishponds

A Scheduled Monument in Wimbish, Essex

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Latitude: 52.0007 / 52°0'2"N

Longitude: 0.2716 / 0°16'17"E

OS Eastings: 556036.328144

OS Northings: 236017.910281

OS Grid: TL560360

Mapcode National: GBR MCB.HH2

Mapcode Global: VHHL4.NZG5

Entry Name: Thunderley Hall moated site and fishponds

Scheduled Date: 2 March 1993

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1008559

English Heritage Legacy ID: 20686

County: Essex

Civil Parish: Wimbish

Traditional County: Essex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Essex


The monument consists of two separate areas and comprises a moat and two
fishponds situated l00m north-west of New House Farm and 150m north of the
site of Thunderley Church. It includes an incomplete quadrangular moated site
of which the eastern, southern and southern half of the western arms remain
visible. Only the south-western corner of the moat remains waterlogged. The
arms are l0m in width and the eastern and the southern ones are 70m in length.
A 15th or 16th century house with 19th century additions is situated on the
island and extends to cover the western arm of the moat. A small wooden
footbridge crosses the southern arm. At the south-western corner is a drain
which leads to a fishpond 40m to the west. This pond remains waterlogged and
measures 35m north-south by 11m east-west. 25m to the north is another
fishpond which is preserved as a marshy area 25m NE-SW by 11m NW-SE.
Thunderley is mentioned in Domesday Book as a manor with five beehives, but
the separate parish of Thunderley was united with Wimbish in 1425.
The house, paths and footbridge are all excluded from the scheduling though
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.

Although the moat has been partly infilled the moated site and associated
fishponds at Thunderley Hall will retain archaeological information relating
to the occupation of the site and contributing to the understanding of the
decline of the parish of Thunderley, resulting in its eventual unification
with the parish of Wimbish. The waterlogged deposits in the fishpond and moat
will contain environmental evidence pertaining to the economy of its
inhabitants and the landscape in which they lived.

Source: Historic England


Information from SMR (No. 1945),

Source: Historic England

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