Ancient Monuments

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A moated site and fishpond in Howe Wood, 0.75km south-east of St Mary's Church

A Scheduled Monument in Littlebury, Essex

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Latitude: 52.0344 / 52°2'3"N

Longitude: 0.1751 / 0°10'30"E

OS Eastings: 549298.04644

OS Northings: 239561.2155

OS Grid: TL492395

Mapcode National: GBR MBT.H2D

Mapcode Global: VHHL2.Z4F9

Entry Name: A moated site and fishpond in Howe Wood, 0.75km south-east of St Mary's Church

Scheduled Date: 26 February 1993

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1013414

English Heritage Legacy ID: 20695

County: Essex

Civil Parish: Littlebury

Traditional County: Essex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Essex


The monument includes a moated site and fishpond situated on high ground
overlooking the River Cam, 0.75km south-east of St Mary's Church in Strethall.
The quadrangular moated site is orientated NE-SW and measures 95m by 75m. The
arms, which are mostly dry, are between 8m and 14m wide and a maximum of 3.75m
in depth. The eastern corner retains some water. A causeway, 3m wide, across
the south-eastern arm gives access to the island, which is flat, but has
traces of internal banks about 2m wide and 0.5m high to the south and north-
west. At the northern corner of the moat is a rectangular fishpond which
remains waterfilled and measures 45m NE-SW by 20m NW-SE. It is joined to the
moat by a channel 11m wide. To the north of the moat are other earthworks on
the same alignment, which are considered to be part of an associated
enclosure, although the continuation of these earthworks within the woods has
yet to be defined.

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 in Howe Wood remains essentially undisturbed and will retain
archaeological information relating to the occupation of the monument. The
ditches and fishpond will retain environmental evidence relating to the
economy of its inhabitants and the landscape in which they lived.

Source: Historic England


Information from SMR No: 3882,

Source: Historic England

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