Ancient Monuments

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Great Garnetts moated site

A Scheduled Monument in High Easter, Essex

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Latitude: 51.832 / 51°49'55"N

Longitude: 0.374 / 0°22'26"E

OS Eastings: 563674.674272

OS Northings: 217490.369924

OS Grid: TL636174

Mapcode National: GBR NGX.5CJ

Mapcode Global: VHJJM.F6KW

Entry Name: Great Garnetts moated site

Scheduled Date: 16 November 1993

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1011651

English Heritage Legacy ID: 20701

County: Essex

Civil Parish: High Easter

Traditional County: Essex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Essex

Church of England Parish: High Easter St Mary the Virgin

Church of England Diocese: Chelmsford


The monument includes a moated site situated on high ground 3km north-east of
High Easter church. It includes two conjoined moats, one oval in shape and
the other, to the east, rectangular. The oval-shaped moat measures 60m north-
south by 87m east-west. The south-eastern side of the site was infilled in
1954 when the farmhouse was demolished. The northern portion remains
water-filled and is a maximum of 15m in width. The moat had opposed causeways,
4m wide on the north side and 2m wide on the south side, which gave access to
the island. Adjoining the eastern part of this moat are the remains of a
second, rectangular, moat. The southern arm remains visible and measures 63m
in length and a maximum of 15m in width. The southern part of the eastern arm
also remains visible. Both are waterlogged as they are connected to the oval
moat to the west. The northern arm of this moat has been infilled but it
survives as a buried feature beneath a farm trackway.
The trackway is excluded from the scheduling although the ground beneath it is
The monument is thought to be associated with the family of Geoffrey Garnet in

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.

Great Garnetts moated site represents an unusual example of moat morphology.
Despite infilling of parts of the monument it remains well preserved and will
retain archaeological information relating to the occupation and development
of the site. The water-filled and waterlogged 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)
SMR No: 894, Information from SMR (No 894),

Source: Historic England

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