Ancient Monuments

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The Howses moated site

A Scheduled Monument in Great Sampford, Essex

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Latitude: 52.0032 / 52°0'11"N

Longitude: 0.3862 / 0°23'10"E

OS Eastings: 563893.898609

OS Northings: 236551.245679

OS Grid: TL638365

Mapcode National: GBR NDT.8H8

Mapcode Global: VHJHN.NX16

Entry Name: The Howses moated site

Scheduled Date: 15 September 1993

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1011613

English Heritage Legacy ID: 20697

County: Essex

Civil Parish: Great Sampford

Traditional County: Essex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Essex


The monument includes a moated site situated on high ground overlooking the
River Pant, 1.25km north of Great Sampford Church. The sub-rectangular moated
site measures 95m east-west by 80m north-south. The arms are between 6m and
10m wide. The moat is kept waterfilled by seepage and has an outfall on the
north-western corner. Two causeways, on the eastern and southern arms, which
are both 7m in width, gives access to the island. The house which is Listed
Grade II, is mostly of 19th century date but incorporates part of an earlier
building dated to the 17th century. The pond situated 30m south of the moat
is thought to be a later ornamental addition and is therefore not included in
the scheduling.
The moated site is considered to be that associated with the family of John
House in the early 15th century.
The house, paths, greenhouse and swimming pool are all excluded from the
scheduling though the ground beneath all the features except the swimming pool
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.

The moated site at Howses remains essentially undisturbed and will retain
archaeological information relating to the occupation of the site. The
waterfilled ditches will retain environmental evidence pertaining to the
economy of its inhabitants and the landscape in which they lived.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Reaney, PH, Place names of Essex, (1935)
TL 63 NW, Information from National Archaeological Record (TL 63 NW),

Source: Historic England

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