Ancient Monuments

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Tiptoft's moated site and fishponds

A Scheduled Monument in Wimbish, Essex

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Latitude: 52.0126 / 52°0'45"N

Longitude: 0.2861 / 0°17'10"E

OS Eastings: 556990.0684

OS Northings: 237370.331554

OS Grid: TL569373

Mapcode National: GBR MC5.TBD

Mapcode Global: VHHL4.XP31

Entry Name: Tiptoft's moated site and fishponds

Scheduled Date: 2 March 1993

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1008702

English Heritage Legacy ID: 20685

County: Essex

Civil Parish: Wimbish

Traditional County: Essex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Essex


The monument includes a quadrangular moat and three associated fishponds
situated 2km east of Saffron Walden. The moated site measures 62m east-west
by 67m north-south with a waterfilled moat. All the arms are 10m wide with
the exception of the northern one which measures 7.5m. A brick built bridge
gives access to the moat across the eastern arm and across the western arm are
the remains of a wooden bridge with brick footings. On the island is a 13th
century manor house which is listed Grade I. Also on the island are situated
a well, which was used until the late 1940's, a waterpipe, which now supplies
the house with water, and a small outhouse. There are three fishponds
associated with the moat, all orientated north-south, all waterfilled and
connected to each other and the moat by a channel. The channel measures 2m in
width and is approximately 1.5m deep. The first of the ponds is situated at
the south-eastern corner of the moat and measures 27m by 15m. 80m south of
the moat is another pond which is 25m by 7.5m. Adjacent and to the south is
the third pond which measures 37.5m by 12.5m.
Tiptoft's had manorial status and is associated with the family of John
Tippetoft from 1346.
The house, outbuilding, footbridges, paths and waterpipe are all excluded from
the scheduling but 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.

Tiptoft's moated site remains largely undisturbed and will retain
archaeological information relating to the occupation of the site. The
waterfilled ditches and ponds 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 161),

Source: Historic England

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