Ancient Monuments

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Moathouse Farm moated site

A Scheduled Monument in Great Easton, Essex

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Latitude: 51.9254 / 51°55'31"N

Longitude: 0.3461 / 0°20'46"E

OS Eastings: 561420.924008

OS Northings: 227814.520711

OS Grid: TL614278

Mapcode National: GBR NFQ.BB5

Mapcode Global: VHHLK.YVCT

Entry Name: Moathouse Farm moated site

Scheduled Date: 4 October 1993

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1011468

English Heritage Legacy ID: 20721

County: Essex

Civil Parish: Great Easton

Traditional County: Essex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Essex

Church of England Parish: Broxted with Chickney and Tilty and Great and Little Easton

Church of England Diocese: Chelmsford


The monument at Moathouse Farm includes a rectangular moated site situated on
high ground overlooking the River Chelmer, 2.5km north-east of Great Easton
church. The moated site measures 63m east-west by 50m north-south. The moat
arms, which are between 3m and 5m wide, are kept waterfilled by drainage from
the surrounding land and the adjacent farm buildings. The north-eastern corner
has been extended along the same line as the eastern arm for a further 5m. A
causeway, 13m wide, gives access to the island across the northern arm. A
small wooden footbridge crosses the western arm and is considered to be on the
site of the original entrance to the island. A modern house occupies the
island and is situated slightly further east than the original house which was
demolished in 1966.
The house, wooden footbridge, paths and the telegraph pole on the south-
eastern corner of the island, 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.

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.

Moathouse Farm moated site is well preserved and will retain archaeological
information pertaining to the occupation of the site. The waterfilled ditches
will also retain environmental evidence relating to the economy of its
inhabitants and the landscape in which they lived.

Source: Historic England


SMR NO: 1186, Information from SMR,

Source: Historic England

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