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Moat Farm, situated 750m south west of St Lawrence's Church

A Scheduled Monument in Ridgewell, Essex

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Coordinates

Latitude: 52.0366 / 52°2'11"N

Longitude: 0.5277 / 0°31'39"E

OS Eastings: 573472.438725

OS Northings: 240595.618891

OS Grid: TL734405

Mapcode National: GBR PFY.872

Mapcode Global: VHJHR.32BK

Entry Name: Moat Farm, situated 750m south west of St Lawrence's Church

Scheduled Date: 13 January 1995

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1012096

English Heritage Legacy ID: 20765

County: Essex

Civil Parish: Ridgewell

Built-Up Area: Ridgewell

Traditional County: Essex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Essex

Church of England Parish: Ridgewell St Laurence

Church of England Diocese: Chelmsford

Details

The monument at Moat Farm includes a moated site situated on the floodplain of
the River Colne, 750m south west of St Lawrence's Church. The moated site is
irregular in shape and measures 60m north west - south east by a maximum of
60m north east - south west. Although only three moat arms are now visible,
the north eastern arm has been infilled and is preserved as a buried feature.
The north western arm has also been infilled but remains visible as a shallow
depression, 5m wide and approximately 0.3m deep. The remaining two arms are
waterfilled from land drainage. They measure 7m in width and 2m in depth. A
slight internal bank, approximately 0.4m high and 1m wide is visible along the
south eastern arm. A causeway, 1m wide, gives access to the island across the
south eastern arm. A modern bridge (built of concrete and metal) crosses the
south western arm of the moat and is not included in the scheduling. The south
western part of the island has been raised by about 0.4m from the level of the
rest of the island which is at the same height as the surrounding ground
level. A 17th century house, which is Listed Grade II, occupies the northern
corner of the island. To the west of the house are situated a modern garage,
shed, barn. A small ornamental pond occupies the area between the house and
the outbuildings.
The house, garage, shed, barn, paths, fences and ornamental pond are all
excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath all these features
except the pond is included.

MAP EXTRACT
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 Moat Farm survives in a good condition, both as buried
features and also as waterfilled earthworks. The buried deposits on the island
will contain features which will provide information on the construction and
function of the site. The buried moat arm will also contain archaeological
deposits related to the occupation of the site. The waterfilled ditches will
retain environmental information relating to the economy of its inhabitants
and the landscape in which they lived. The site is in close proximity to the
moated site 150m to the north at West End House (the subject of a separate
scheduling). Close associations such as this allow a study of relationships
between different types of moated site and illustrate the ways in which they
functioned in the wider context of the village and the parish.

Source: Historic England

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