Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Holt's Farm moated site

A Scheduled Monument in Stebbing, Essex

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Latitude: 51.9121 / 51°54'43"N

Longitude: 0.4141 / 0°24'50"E

OS Eastings: 566143.390142

OS Northings: 226480.024946

OS Grid: TL661264

Mapcode National: GBR NG0.3HT

Mapcode Global: VHJJ8.468J

Entry Name: Holt's Farm moated site

Scheduled Date: 13 September 1993

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1011614

English Heritage Legacy ID: 20692

County: Essex

Civil Parish: Stebbing

Traditional County: Essex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Essex

Church of England Parish: Stebbing St Mary the Virgin

Church of England Diocese: Chelmsford


The monument at Holt's Farm includes a moated site situated on high ground
over-looking Stebbing Brook, 2.5km north of Stebbing church. It includes a
quadrangular moated area which measures about 100m north-south by 50m east-
west. The arms are an average of 10m in width, apart from at the south-
eastern corner where the moat measures a maximum of 20m in width. Only the
south-eastern corner remains waterfilled. The northern and eastern arms have
been partly brick-lined. At the north-western corner is the outlet channel, a
ditch 9m in length by 2.5m in width. The eastern arm has been partly infilled
to form a causeway 32m, giving access to the island which is raised from the
surrounding ground level by approximately 0.5m. The house which is situated
on the island dates from 1650 and is Listed Grade II. The site is considered
to have been the home of Thomas de la Holte in 1310.
The house, watertank, shed and greenhouses are 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.

Holt's Farm moated site remains largely undisturbed and will retain
archaeological information relating to the occupation of the site. The
ditches will retain environmental evidence pertaining to the economy of its
inhabitants and the landscape in which they lived.

Source: Historic England


1204, Information from SMR (1204),

Source: Historic England

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