Ancient Monuments

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Henham Hall moated site

A Scheduled Monument in Henham, Essex

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Latitude: 51.9356 / 51°56'8"N

Longitude: 0.2427 / 0°14'33"E

OS Eastings: 554273.065425

OS Northings: 228720.880964

OS Grid: TL542287

Mapcode National: GBR MD2.N5M

Mapcode Global: VHHLJ.5M40

Entry Name: Henham Hall moated site

Scheduled Date: 30 September 1993

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1011465

English Heritage Legacy ID: 20717

County: Essex

Civil Parish: Henham

Traditional County: Essex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Essex

Church of England Parish: Henham St Mary the Virgin

Church of England Diocese: Chelmsford


The moated site at Henham Hall is situated on a west-facing slope
overlooking the River Cam 183m north-west of Henham Church. The monument
includes a rectangular moated site, which measures 64m east-west by 81m north-
south, and associated extensions to the moat. The arms are waterfilled and are
between 6m and 10m wide. An extension from the south-west corner runs
southwards for 130m whilst another extension from the north-eastern corner is
10m in length. A modern brick and concrete bridge, 4m wide, crosses the
western arm of the moat giving access to the island. A causeway, 1.5m wide
crosses the eastern arm and is considered to be the original entrance to the
site. A modern house is situated on the island and foundations of an earlier
brick house were uncovered during the construction of the present house in
Henham Hall is first mentioned in the the account of the birth of Robert
Fitzwalter in 1249. It is thought that Robert Radcliffe rebuilt the manor
within Henham Park between 1509 and 1530. An account of the house is given in
a survey of 1530. The manor house, at that time, was built within a deer park,
round a square courtyard and was entered by a turreted three-storied gatehouse
of brick. There was a "fair chapel" with a "quire".
The house, bridge, driveway and shed are all excluded from the scheduling
though the ground beneath these features is included.

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.

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 Henham Hall is well-preserved and will retain archaeological
information relating to the occupation of the site and adding to the
information from surviving historical documentation. The waterfilled ditches
will also contain evidence relating to the economy of its inhabitants and to
the landscape in which the monument was built.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Wright, , History of Essex, (1842), 146

Source: Historic England

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