Ancient Monuments

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Moated site and fishpond at Maynards Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Little Sampford, Essex

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Latitude: 51.9903 / 51°59'25"N

Longitude: 0.4122 / 0°24'43"E

OS Eastings: 565720.220586

OS Northings: 235177.966648

OS Grid: TL657351

Mapcode National: GBR NF1.310

Mapcode Global: VHJHW.377K

Entry Name: Moated site and fishpond at Maynards Farm

Scheduled Date: 8 October 1993

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1011607

English Heritage Legacy ID: 20696

County: Essex

Civil Parish: Little Sampford

Traditional County: Essex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Essex


The monument, which is divided into two areas, includes a moated site and
fishpond situated on high ground overlooking the River Pant, 1.5km south-east
of Great Sampford Church. The quadrangular moated site measures 90m NW-SE by
84m NE-SW. The ditches are all waterfilled and are an average of 5m in width.
A causeway 45m in width gives access to the island at the southern end of the
south-eastern arm and is considered to incorporate the original access.
Another causeway, 2.5m in width, on the north-western arm is modern. The
island is level and once contained a fishpond on the north-east side which has
now been filled in. Another fishpond near the southern angle of the moat
remains waterfilled and measures 40m NE-SW by a maximum of 10m NW-SE. The
field immediately north of the moat contains visible low earthworks considered
to be the remains of a cattle enclosure. This interpretation is accorded by
the name, Pightle, which is used locally for the field. These earthworks
have, however, been disturbed by ploughing and are therefore not considered
well enough preserved to be included in the scheduling.
The moated site is considered to have been that associated with the family of
Symon Maynard in 1327.
The house which is Listed Grade II, barns, greenhouses and the driveway are
all excluded from the scheduling but the ground beneath these features is

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 at Maynards Farm is well preserved and will retain
archaeological information relating to the occupation and development of the
site. The waterfilled ditches will retain environmental evidence pertaining
to the economy of its inhabitants and the landscape in which they lived. In
addition it has a documented history dating back to the early 14th century.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Reaney, PH, Place names of Essex, (1935)

Source: Historic England

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