Ancient Monuments

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Moated site at Pierce Williams

A Scheduled Monument in Hatfield Broad Oak, Essex

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Latitude: 51.816 / 51°48'57"N

Longitude: 0.2469 / 0°14'48"E

OS Eastings: 554970.861571

OS Northings: 215430.676801

OS Grid: TL549154

Mapcode National: GBR MFM.374

Mapcode Global: VHHM3.7MC6

Entry Name: Moated site at Pierce Williams

Scheduled Date: 22 October 1993

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1011653

English Heritage Legacy ID: 20703

County: Essex

Civil Parish: Hatfield Broad Oak

Traditional County: Essex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Essex

Church of England Parish: Hatfield Broad Oak St Mary the Virgin

Church of England Diocese: Chelmsford


The monument includes a moated site situated on high ground north of Pierce
Williams Farm, 1.2km south of St Mary the Virgin Church, Hatfield Broad Oak.
It includes an irregular shaped moated site which measures 82m NE-SW by a
maximum of 85m NW-SE. The arms are seasonally waterlogged and are an average
of 7m wide and approximately 2.5m deep. At the south-western corner of the
moat is an extension 15m long and 11m wide. There is a depression 11m east-
west by 6m north-south approximately 1m deep near the northern arm which is
considered to be related to the use of the platform. A small earthen mound 7m
in diameter and 0.7m high to the east of this feature is believed to be the
spoil from its construction.

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 Pierce Williams remains essentially undisturbed and, as
such, will retain archaeological information relating to the occupation of the
monument. The waterlogged ditches will retain environmental evidence
pertaining to the economy of its inhabitants and the landscape in which they

Source: Historic England


SMR No: 4416, Information from SMR (No: 4416),

Source: Historic England

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